In a stunning revelation, made by Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA), 75% of two-wheelers in India ply on roads without auto insurance, and jeopardizing the lives of cyclists and pedestrians. So, if you get hit by a 2-wheeler, forget about receiving a compensation.
Considering the IRDA report, the a Supreme Court has appointed a committee on road safety to design a modus operandi to identify the non-insured vehicles within 3 months and submit a report. The committee must create the protocol as a joint effort with the Transport ministry.
K. S. Radhakrishnan, Justice (retd). & committee chairman said, “IRDA representatives informed us that most 2-wheelers ply on roads with lapsed insurance or no insurance. It has been observed that due to leniency in enforcement, most owners fail to renew their policy.”
As per industry estimates, two-wheelers constitute 70% of all vehicles in India. Approximately 82% of vehicles in the country are privately owned, out of which a majority are two-wheelers. In the last decade, the sales of two-wheelers have exponentially grown in the rural areas where the authorities seldom check the insurance papers.
S. P. Singh, IFTRT commented, “Using an uninsured vehicle is equivalent to a criminal offense, and thus stricter punishment should be levied on the owner, as he/she is jeopardizing the lives of fellow citizens. In case of an accident, it is the liability of the owner to pay the compensation, but in absence of auto insurance, the victim is helpless.”
A road transport ministry official said, “A few months ago, we had approached National Informatics Centre (NIC) to generate data of non-insured vehicles, state-wise. And, once we receive the report we shall send it to the states where their respective law enforcement body can take stringent action against the offenders. It could lead to a high penalty or imprisonment.”
Justice Radhakrishnan further said, “We have requested for a ban on alcohol sales along the state and national highways. All signage on the highway for alcohol vendors should be removed by the June-end. If they fail to abide by the new regulations, we will submit the details to Supreme Court.”
Furthermore, to dissuade uninsured vehicle to run on roads, the Road Safety and Transport Bill seeks to propose a high penalty and imprisonment of the vehicle owner.
Source: This news was published on May 23, 2015 in economictimes.indiatimes.com under the title: “75% of 2-wheelers have no insurance”.
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