Driver Strike in India: Highlights of New Hit and Run Law

driver strike in India

Drivers from all over the country have been on strike since January 1, 2024. The driver strike in India has taken place because of certain changes in the hit-and-run law. Let’s review the highlights of the new Hit and Run law proposed by Indian Home Minister Amit Shah. 

Drivers have been on the roads in India for the last two days. Although having drivers on the roads is always beneficial, the case is quite the opposite this time. For the previous two days, drivers have been on the road not for the public’s convenience but for personal reasons. They are protesting against the new hit-and-run law recently passed in the Parliament. Although the law is not yet in practice, drivers have certain concerns about the amendment. 

What is the new hit-and-run law?

New hit-an-run rule is a revised version of case that Tiger 3 star Salman Khan is facing. On December 21, Indian Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah introduced a new hit-and-run rule applicable to all motorists. According to the new rule, hit-and-run cases will now be considered as culpable homicide, and the drivers committing this incident will be punished with ten years of imprisonment. Rs 7 lakh will also be an option for punishment, which the driver will have to pay.

However, hit-and-run laws will not apply to all accidents. According to the new rule, if a driver hits someone and runs away without informing the authorities, it will be considered a hit and run. Conversely, if a driver hits someone but does not run away and stops at the scene to render aid to the victim, it will not be the subject of a hit-and-run rule. 

What if the driver does not leave the spot? 

If the driver does not leave the accident place, the accident will remain a normal accident. The punishment in this scenario will be minimal, up to 2 years of imprisonment. The punishment in this scenario is relatively less in comparison to the sentence in hit-and-run cases. 

If a driver helps someone injured in an accident and they do not die, the punishment may be less severe. However, as per the new rule, if the driver leaves the victim to die, the case will be handled as murder. 

Why are drivers protesting against the new hit-and-run rule? 

Drivers express their opposition to the bill for various reasons. A Viral Infos survey reveals that drivers are troubled by both the penalties and punishments outlined. Drivers clearly say that they are driving because of lack of money; if any accident happens, then where will they arrange the fine? Additionally, they highlight the fact that drivers work tirelessly to support their families. Concerns have been raised about the impact on their loved ones if the primary breadwinner is sentenced to 10 years in prison without having committed any crime.

Why can drivers not stay on the spot? 

Regarding stopping at the accident site, the drivers said that staying there to help the victim put them at risk of being attacked by an angry mob. Unfortunately, in many cases, when an accident occurs, even if the driver is not at fault, an angry mob attacks the driver. This is a significant reason why many drivers choose to flee the scene to protect themselves. And this is the reason why, driver strike in India took place.

Yet, there appears to be a potential counter to this problem with another bill recently passed in Parliament. Amit Shah introduced a bill addressing mob lynching on the same day. Under this law, mob lynching is now classified as a severe crime, and those responsible for such acts can face punishment up to the death penalty.

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