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Automakers may face penalty of Rs. 100 crore for violation of safety rules

When the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme (BNVSAP) will come into effect from 2017, there will be a whole lot of changes to the safety standards of vehicles in the country.

After the proposed new Road Safety Bill is passed, automakers may have to cough up a penalty of Rs. 100 crore if found in violation of the new norms. These proposed penal provisions are a part of recommendations made by a panel of state transport ministers headed by Rajasthan Transport Minister Yunoos Khan.

The panel, set up by the Centre to frame stringent traffic and road safety rules, has suggested "stringent penalties to the extent of Rs. 100 crore for non-compliance of automobile regulations by automobile companies and power to order compulsory recall within stipulated time frame".

Additionally, the Road Safety Bill could impose a fine up to Rs. 5,000 on people using unauthorised accessories on their vehicles like fog lights, air pressure horns, additional lights and bull bars. Vehicle dealers, body shops and component dealers are also likely to be fined by up to Rs. 1 lakh for “selling non-approved critical safety components for vehicles”.

The panel has contemplated steeper penalties for several other offences, such as driving by minors, crossing speed limits, drunk driving, talking over phone while driving, and jumping traffic lights.

The panel also proposes a one-year jail sentence and a fine up to Rs 10,000 for driving with a fake licence. With regard to juvenile drivers, the owner of the vehicle being driven will be held responsible and could face a three-year jail sentence and a fine up to Rs. 20,000.

All these propositions are expected to be part of the Road Safety Bill, which hasn’t been passed in Parliament since it was presented in 2014. The panel's final recommendations are expected to be enforced this month.