Stating that we are residents of Delhi and have the right to travel on road, a court while hearing a plea of a 37-year-old woman, who lost vision after an e-rickshaw she was travelling in overturned, made recommendations to various agencies to prevent such accidents.
Presiding Officer (Motor Accident Claim Tribunal) Ekta Gauba Mann stated that every victim of the motor accident should be adequately compensated.
“Hum hain Bharat ke wasi, hum hain Delhi ke niwasi. Humara haq hai ki hum road par chalen Jis marji Gari main hum bethen Chahe woh bus ho, car ho, auto ho, ya e-rickshaw Law hi karega humari suraksha Agar motor accident ho jaye kisi ka toh mile compensation usse sahi sa,” the order passed on February 17 read.
During the hearing, the investigating officer alleged that the “accident due to e-rickshaws are on the rise in the city, and in the present case respondent being an e-rickshaw driver did not have a valid insurance policy at the time of the accident”.
The respondent has stated that he is economically unsound and his sole income is from driving his e-rickshaw and could not offer more than Rs 20,000 as compensation.
The woman along with three passengers was in his vehicle when he lost control of it after which it overturned. The three passengers sustained injuries and the woman lost her vision.
The petitioner has alleged that “generally due to rash driving of e-rickshaw pullers, there is an increase in accidents on roads, and the public at large is suffering serious injuries/death”.
She urged the court to take measures to prevent such accidents since her life and earnings were affected due to the said accident.
The tribunal requested the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to create a separate slow-moving lane for two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and e-rickshaws on main heavy-traffic roads to avert motor accidents.
It requested the Ministry of Transport to “ensure that subsidy for purchase of e-rickshaw should not be released until the licence of e-rickshaw drivers is made permanent and provide a permit to e-rickshaws for low traffic and service roads, and not for those roads with a speed limit of 40 kmph or more, as the maximum speed permitted for e-rickshaws is 25 kmph, and this would minimise the risk of accidents on roads in Delhi”.
A request was also sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs, to direct the “traffic police to perform their duty efficiently and to keep a check on the violation of traffic rules and the non-availability of requisite documents of drivers of every motor vehicle including e-rickshaws”.
It was also requested to “consider making the law on the fact that if the insurance policy of any motor vehicle has expired, then the traffic police could be authorised by law to issue notice to the said owner of the motor vehicles and action can be taken against them so that any victim of a motor accident should not remain uncompensated”.