The Automobile Association of Upper India (AAUI), established in 1950, is the largest non-profit Section 25 company under the Companies Act 1956, now Section 8 under the Companies Act 2013. It is one of the largest bodies that represents the interests of the motoring community and road users at large from all over Haryana, Punjab, Himachal, Uttrakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh, Delhi and NCR. We compliment the Minister for his sincere and tireless thought and efforts in introducing the Bill which was passed by overwhelming majority in Parliament. It is indeed remarkable and a milestone endeavour which will go a long way to address traffic woes and reduce man-made road injuries and fatalities.
Losing more than 1,54,000 lives in road accidents, India is tagged as the ‘World’s Central Capital of Road Accidents’. It is as harrowing as a plane crash with 450 passengers on Indian soil every day! While the long-awaited amendments passed by Parliament imposing stringent fines and penalties is the need of the present times, it is also essential to evaluate how the driving community and road users receive and react to these amendments.
If the objective for imposing heavy fines and punishments is to ensure smooth traffic, reduce road injuries and fatalities, will it be possible and conducive to the existing road structure and traffic environment? The law, for example, imposes a fine of 10,000 or up to 6 months in jail or both: Drunken driving which had a penalty of 2000 would now be 10,000 according to the new bill while driving without a license that previously attracted a fine of 500 would now be 5,000; and, there is a fine of 10,000 for not g