As per a report in The Times of India, the transport ministry has accepted a recommendation to penalise road owning and maintaining agencies for accidents caused by poor road conditions. Like for potholes and faulty design.

The report says this clause will now be included in the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill. The quantum of the penalty is yet to be finalised.

b’Nitin Gadkari, Minister of road transport and highways’

The recommendation was given in a report submitted by the ministry’s Standing Committee on Friday. It said that road contractors and concessionaires should be liable for accidents caused by their negligence.

As per a report in The Hindu, the recommendation read:

“The committee notes that the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016, fails to address the issue of accidents caused by faulty road designs and non-maintenance of roads and the accountability of the same. The committee, therefore, recommends that a penalty provision (Section 198A) may be inserted in the Bill to hold road contractors and concessionaires accountable for faulty road design, construction and maintenance of roads,” read the recommendations submitted before Parliament.”

Killer roads

As per data by the Transport Research Wing of the ministry, over 36,000 road crashes have happened across India due to defect in road conditions in last five years. These mishaps have cost 13,000 lives and left over 35,000 seriously injured.

A welcome decision

As of now, neither the Motor Vehicles Act (1988) nor the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill (2016) hold contractors accountable for such things. Most cases of faulty road designs causing accidents are buried by registering a case of rash and negligent driving, as per Hindu.