Know About India’s New Hit-and-Run Law That Sparks Nationwide Protests


The recent introduction of a stringent hit-and-run law under the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita in India has triggered widespread protests among truck drivers across the nation. The law, aimed at curbing the alarming number of hit-and-run accidents, imposes harsh penalties, including up to 10 years of imprisonment and a hefty fine of Rs 7 lakh. However, the trucking community contends that the law is draconian and its penalties are excessively severe, leading to financial strain and potential deterrents for drivers.

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The New Hit-and-Run Law:

Under the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, the new hit-and-run law intends to address the soaring rate of hit-and-run incidents in India, contributing to approximately 50,000 fatalities annually. The law mandates up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 7 lakh for drivers who flee accident scenes, extending its applicability to private vehicle owners as well.

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Reasons Behind the Introduction:

The primary objectives behind introducing the new law are:

  1. Reducing Hit-and-Run Cases: With a staggering number of fatalities resulting from hit-and-run accidents each year, the law seeks to minimize such incidents and enhance road safety.
  2. Increasing Accountability: By imposing stricter penalties, including a significant prison term and substantial fines, the law aims to hold drivers more accountable for their actions.
  3. Legal Framework Overhaul: The law replaces the outdated Indian Penal Code (IPC) with the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, introducing comprehensive changes to the criminal justice system.

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Protests and Opposition:

Despite the noble intentions behind the law, truck drivers across India have vehemently opposed it, citing concerns and challenges:

  1. Financial Hardship: Drivers argue that the fines under the new law are excessively high, leading to financial distress and potential bankruptcy for those found guilty.
  2. Deterrence for Drivers: There is widespread fear that the stringent penalties may discourage current drivers and dissuade new entrants to the profession.
  3. Unfair Sentences: Drivers express concerns about potential false accusations and accidents beyond their control, leading to unjust 10-year sentences.

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Nationwide Protest by Truck Drivers:

The All India Motor Transport Congress has spearheaded a nationwide protest, calling for the withdrawal of the new hit-and-run law. The organization contends that the law could subject drivers to harassment and financial ruin, negatively impacting the entire transport industry.

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While the new hit-and-run law in India aims to address a critical issue concerning road safety, the widespread protests highlight the need for a balanced approach that considers the concerns of the driving community. Striking a balance between stringent penalties and fair treatment is crucial to ensure the effective implementation of the law without unduly burdening drivers and creating hurdles in the transportation sector. The ongoing dialogue between the concerned authorities and the protesting drivers may pave the way for amendments or clarifications that address these legitimate concerns.

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