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In a bid to check drunk driving, the road transport ministry is pushing for five-fold increase in fine for first-time offenders while repeat offence will attract stiffer penalty besides imprisonment ranging from six months to one year and impounding of the vehicle for one year.
These will form part of the rules once the proposed Road Transport and Safety Bill become law. The road transport ministry has circulated the latest version of the proposed bill vetted by the law ministry to all state governments for their feedback.
At present, the fine is up to Rs 2,000 or jail up to six months for first drunk driving offence. The new provision proposes Rs 10,000 fine for first time offenders.
The bill has specified the fine and penalties for those carrying more than one driving licence or attempting to get a fresh one and stiff penalty for using any uninsured vehicle. According to the provisions incorporated in the bill, driving uninsured vehicle will attract fine between Rs 2,000 and Rs 1 lakh depending on the type of vehicle. It was recently revealed that over 70% of two-wheelers in India don’t have insurance cover.
Moreover, specific provisions have been made to discipline errant manufacturers for faulty design and for failing to recall the vehicle when a major fault in a category of vehicle is detected. While fault in design of vehicles would attract fine up to Rs 5 lakh, on account of refusal to recall one can be jailed for up to three months or with fine which may extend to the to the cost of each vehicle.
“We have taken out most of the offences and penalties provision from the bill. These will be covered under the rules that will be framed after the bill is passed. So, we have incorporated a provision for penalty and punishment for contravening general provisions of the law or the rule. The fine for first offence could be up to Rs 1 lakh and Rs 3 lakh for subsequent offences. It will depend on the type of offence,” said an official.
He added if the offence is like jumping traffic light or not wearing seatbelt, the penalty would be less whereas killing a child in a road crash will attract higher penalty.
The bill also has provision for negative point for most offences and there are provisions for mandatory community service for certain type of offences. “Once an offender accumulates certain negative points, say 12 or 14, his licence will be suspended,” said an official.