I must have committed at least 5 violations on that trip. Talking on the phone while driving; skipping the red light; not adhering to the speed limit; no seat belt and so on. Of course, I only committed those violations after ensuring the strict absence of traffic policemen around. This happens to all of us. If there were no traffic rules, most of us wouldn’t care. We cannot think of the dire consequences when that chemical cocktail of hormones roars inside our body triggered by the sense of urgency. Hence, traffic rules and penalties.

We are living in the era of ‘Digital India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’ and ‘Make In India’, where our country is subjected to new reforms almost every fortnight. We can all have our fair share of opinions on the credibility of such reforms but most of us would fall on the same side of the court for the latest bill passed by the Rajya Sabha, Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019. An incontrovertible step on the staircase to ‘Safe India’. Or maybe ‘Surakshit Bharat’? Which one do you prefer?

Technically speaking, the bill has been passed to amend the provisions under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 which, let’s say, does not work on the people anymore. If it worked, India wouldn’t have been awarded the title of ‘The Country With The Deadliest Roads’ back in 2006 when we snatched away that position from China. We can show you all the statistics right here with the number of road accidents taking place in India but it’s almost pointless because we all are a witness to it. And we all know that there is a problem.

So, this is what the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has to say:

“The amendments in the Bill mainly focus on issues relating to improving road safety, citizens’ facilitation while dealing with the transport department, strengthening rural transport, last mile connectivity and public transport, automation and computerization and enabling online services.”

Want to know how? Look at the chart below.

But that is not it. The Bill includes several other schemes like cashless treatment of road accident victims during the golden hour, including driver’s attendant under third party insurance, Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, and incorporation of road safety boards. Ever heard of the Good Samaritan? Google it. To help road accident victims, the Government of India has incorporated Good Samaritan guidelines in the Bill.  

“The Bill defines a Good Samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the scene of an accident, and provides rules to prevent harassment of such a person.”

So don’t be a bystander the next time you see a wounded person on the road. Help them and take her to the hospital. Be the Good Samaritan and set an example. Also, save time because time is money, but don’t try to save a few minutes on the road by risking your life because that is only going to take away that money, either for a hospital or a penalty.

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