THE MOTOR VEHICLES ACT, 1988

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Road transport technology is an area of prime concern of Government of any country. India has several road safety policies and guidelines that ensure safety. The road safety awareness is created through several programs by the government starting right from school students to professionals in different fields. The law relating to motor vehicles deals with the provisions from permitting license to a motor vehicle driver to drive in public places. The Motor Vehicles Act 1939 was subjected to various amendments from time to time in order to get in compliance with the changes in the society. Replacing the 1939 Act, the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 came into force and applicable to whole of India. The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 strictly put forth procedures for permitting driving license. Only after complying all conditions a license and its validity is granted. A person who attained the age of 18 can apply for a driving license for private vehicles. A person of 20 years of age can obtain driving license for transport vehicles. A license can be rejected if the application does not comply with the grounds of proving correct age specified in section 3 and 4 of the act. An aggrieved person can approach the appellate authority stating the reasons for rejection if it is rejected on frivolous reasons. A license can be rejected to a person on reasonable grounds if he is a habitual offender, a drunkard, or person using narcotic drugs.

In addition to the procedures structured for driving license the fitness of vehicles is also specified for obtaining registration of the vehicle. The fitness certificates of the vehicles are issued by the authorizing testing authorities. The main concern of laying down strict rules for license and fitness certificate is for ensuring road safety and traffic rules. Day by day the use of motor vehicles by the public is increasing. The act pertains to the conditions relates to the prevention of environmental pollution. The harmful vehicular smoke from the vehicles is a threat to the environment that is to be effectively tackled by using recommended standard motors approved by the government. A victim involved in a road accident can claim his compensation in a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal is constituted for granting compensation of the road accident victims if proper medical documents are produced. The honorable Supreme Court in many times held through various judgment that as it is a welfare legislation, its provisions has to be interpreted in such a way to help the victim.

Section 140 of the act provides provision for compensation for permanent disablement or death of the victim in road accident. The vehicles are insured and the insurance company is liable to pay the compensation. In a motor vehicle accident the insurance company can settle the matter by giving reasonable compensation to the victim.

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The act of 1988 is further amended in the year 2000 and 2001 with an object of reducing the vehicular pollution , ensure road safety and thereby maintain a clean and safe environment. The act of 2000 deals with the alteration of the vehicles. Section 58 of the act of 1988 is amended in the act of 2000 by stating that the particulars stated in the certificate of registration regarding the alteration of the vehicles shall not be inconsistent with the specification of the original manufacturer. In sub section 3 of the act it is further specified that any alteration is done including the replacement of the engine shall be reported it to the registering authority within 14 days the alteration is done. Renewal of license, permit and registration is inserted in section 217 A of the act.

Later in 2007 and in 2012 the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill was initiated and passed only in Rajyasabha . The Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2012 is still pending before the 15th Loksabha for approval. The proposed bill contains provisions for hefty penalties for the violation of traffic rules both pecuniary and civil penalties, provision for Solatium Fund, confers power on authority to immediately suspend license of those who drive under the influence of alcohol for three months or less, empowers the central government to revise the Second Schedule in respect to the compensation claimed by the victim or legal heirs, provisions for interim payment to victims, incorporated penalty for the usage of mobile phones while driving etc. The new government needs three more months time to review the existing Act in detail said by the union transport minister and he added that the new legislation should be of international standard .The redrafted version will consider provisions for cancellation of license if one repeatedly violates traffic rules, Suspension of license for six months if anyone violates road rules for more than three times and more than that license will be cancelled. Once the bill is passed it will definitely be a great legislation for road safety and save lots of lives.

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The principle act of 1939 till the 2012 amendment bill are made with the prime concern of providing road safety measures, to prevent road accidents , to enhance penalties for traffic offenders and also in an unfortunate occurrence of an accident the victim is entitled to compensations specified in the act and there by ensuring justice to the victim without any fail.