Kennith Beer

Truckers and Bus Drivers Outraged: The Shocking Reason Behind Protests Against New Hit-and-Run Law

In a significant move, India has introduced a new set of criminal laws, including a provision dealing with hit-and-run accidents. This new law has sparked widespread protests among truckers nationwide, leading to blockades and fears of fuel shortages.

The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, which replaces the British-era Indian Penal Code, carries this contentious provision.

The New Hit-and-Run Law

The New Hit And Run Law

Under the new Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the legal consequences for hit-and-run accidents have become more stringent. The law states that any driver causing death by rash and negligent driving and fleeing the scene without reporting the incident to the authorities could face imprisonment of up to ten years and/or a fine.

This is a significant escalation from the previous law under the Indian Penal Code, where the maximum jail term for causing death due to rash or negligent acts was two years or a fine.

Comparison with Previous Legislation

Punishment Under The New Hit And Run Law

Previously, under Section 304 A of the Indian Penal Code, a person responsible for causing death due to a rash or negligent act could be punished with imprisonment for a term extending to two years, or with a fine, or both.

The new law increases the severity of the punishment, reflecting a stricter stance on road safety and accountability.

Nationwide Protests by Truckers

Nationwide Protests By Truckers

The introduction of this law has led to a three-day nationwide protest by truckers. They are demanding the immediate withdrawal of the new hit-and-run provision, arguing that it is excessively harsh and could be misused against them.

The protests have blocked highways and roads in several parts of the country, with truckers refusing to ply their vehicles. This has sparked fears of shortages at petrol and diesel stations, leading to panic buying.

Impact of the Protests

Impact Of The Protests

The truckers’ protest has significantly impacted daily life and the economy. There have been reports of fuel shortages and disruptions in the supply chain.

The protest highlights the critical role of truckers in the country’s logistics and the vulnerability of supply chains to such disruptions.

The Debate Over the New Law

The Debate Over The New Law

The new hit-and-run law has sparked a debate over the balance between road safety and drivers’ rights. Proponents argue that stricter laws are necessary to improve road safety and reduce accidents.

Critics, however, contend that the law is too harsh and could lead to unjust penalties for drivers, especially in cases where accidents are not due to gross negligence.

Legal and Social Implications

Legal And Social Implications

The new law and the ensuing protests raise essential questions about legal reforms, enforcement, and the social contract between the state and its citizens. It underscores the need for a balanced approach that ensures road safety while protecting the rights of those driving for a living.

Conclusion

The new hit-and-run law in India represents a significant shift in the legal approach to road safety. While it aims to reduce accidents and improve accountability, the widespread protests by truckers highlight concerns about its implementation and potential for misuse.

This situation calls for a dialogue between the government and stakeholders to find a solution that balances safety, justice, and the livelihoods of those affected by the law.

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