Child? No front seat

Child? No front seat

By: || Updated: 29 Oct 2014 03:17 AM
New Delhi: If your son or daughter is below eight, make sure they are in the back seat the next time you go out for a drive.




That is, if you want to avoid a three-month vacation in jail.


And make sure too that your breath doesn’t excite the breathalyser too much. More so if a kid is in the car. That could lighten your purse by Rs 30,000.


The punishments are among a raft of proposals the government has come up with in a draft bill it intends to table in Parliament’s winter session that starts on November 24.


“I am trying my best to present the Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2014, in the next session of Parliament to get its approval,” transport minister Nitin Gadkari told a meeting of the transport development council. “Very shortly it will be sent for the cabinet’s and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approval.”


While the draft bill tackles a host of issues — from drink-driving to speeding and a unified licensing system — a key feature is the safety of children.


According to the bill, it is an offence if a child below eight is found in the front passenger seat. The punishment could be a fine of Rs 5,000 or jail for three months. For motorcycles, the bill says: “Not more than one person in addition to the driver may be carried on a motorcycle.”


The bill, which envisages a National Road Safety Authority, has proposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh and/or jail for seven years if a child is killed in an accident. For drink-driving, the bill proposes a fine of Rs 15,000 for a first-time offence. The penalty would double if a child is in the car. If the driver is caught a second time, his licence will be cancelled permanently. If a school bus driver is found to be drunk, he can be fined up to Rs 50,000 and even jailed for three years.


Gadkari said the government had set a target of bringing down the number of road accidents by half in the next two years from an average of five lakh that kill around 1.5 lakh people every year now.


The bill proposes an unified licensing and registration system to enable a driver to submit an application from anywhere in the country. Anyone found to hold more than one licence could be fined up to Rs 25,000 or even jailed for three months.


The bill suggests graded punishments for speed violations. For example, if someone is caught driving at 9kmph more than the prescribed limit, the fine will be Rs 5,000. But if someone is found driving at more than 40kmph than the prescribed speed limit, he or she would be fined Rs 12,500.

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