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New Delhi | August 19, 2019 (IANS):
Increased new penalties and provisions of punishment in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 will help better adherence to traffic rules and decreased road accidents in India, the Geneva-based International Road Federation (IRF) said on Monday.
The Act was passed in Parliament's recently concluded monsoon session and has got the President's assent. It is likely to come into effect from September 1.
IRF President Emeritus K.K. Kapila said in a statement: "(This) is an important step towards strengthening the legal framework for improving road safety in India… The heavy penalties in the Bill, the primary traffic law enforcement tool worldwide, will work as an important step towards strengthening the legal framework for improving road safety in India."
IRF is a global body working for better and safer road mobility.
Kapila noted that India accounts for more than 12 per cent of global road accident deaths.
"Indian roads witness over 500,000 accidents each year resulting in about 147,000 fatalities. Motor accidents are also the leading cause of death among youth and children in the country."
He added: "The provision of increased use of technology including use of cameras for capturing traffic violations and heavy fines … will help in better observance of rules."
Kapila said the new penalties covered juvenile driving, drunken driving, over-speeding and over-loading.
"Even driving without a helmet for bikers will have a heavier penalty. Strengthening the provisions for regulating road users' behaviour will contribute to the reduction of road traffic deaths and injuries in India."
He said the bill will help to improve the very poor driving licence regime in the country.
Heavy Motor Vehicle drivers they have to undergo a test every two years, he pointed out.
The provision of stringent penalties for road design and construction, engineering and maintenance companies would also make all involved more cautious and careful, said Kapila, who is also co-chairperson of the FICCI National Committee on Transport Infrastructure.