Traffic rule violators may have to spend time in surgical OPDs as community service

Traffic rule violators may have to spend time in surgical OPDs as community service

Traffic rule violators may have to spend some time with road accident victims at surgical Out Patient Departments (OPDs) of hospitals to understand others' pain.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is proposing community service for offenders. The violators of traffic rules may be compelled to spend time in surgical OPDs with road accident victims, the ministry informed the parliamentary panel which vetted he Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill.

"If a person spends time with road accident victims in the OPD, it will sensitise him/her to follow traffic rules and how rule-breakers cause danger to others' lives," said an official in the Road Transport Ministry. Spending time in OPDs is apart from paying fine for breaking rules.  

The ministry will bring out detailed rules about the types of traffic offences that would attract community service.    

The ministry informed the Rajya Sabha select committee, which vetted the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017, about its plan to bring changes to the existing system. The committee, in its its report tabled in the Rajya Sabha last week, said these stringent rules will help improve road safety and bring down accident rates.  

Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari hopes to get Upper House's nod for the bill, which was already passed by the Lok Sabha. The long-pending bill proposes to overhaul traffic and road safety issues and stipulates stringent punishment to errant drivers.  

According to a report on road accidents prepared by the ministry, drivers' fault was the single-most important factor responsible for road accidents (84%) in 2016 in the country.

The government also proposes to make provisions for two drivers for heavy commercial vehicles which run more than 500 km and regulate the speed of vehicles. The Road Transport Ministry also proposes to enhance punishment for drunk driving up to seven years, in line with the proposed amendments in IPC. At present, drunk drivers causing death are booked under section 304A (causing death due to negligence) and face two-year jail term or fine or both.

The government also plans separate rules for bringing uniform standards for breath analysers.

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