hit and run

Hit-and-run law backlash: What change triggered nationwide protests.

Indian truck drivers are criticizing the recently enacted Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), which imposes harsher punishments for hit-and-run events.

truckers protect
Truck drivers protesting at S P Ring Road near Ahmedabad Baroda Express Way. source:Indianexpress


The new legislation stipulates that a driver faces up to ten years in prison and/or a fine if they depart the scene after recklessly driving someone to death and do not stop.

The Centre intervened on Tuesday, assuring transporters that a decision on enforcing the strict provisions in such cases under the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita will only be taken after consultation with the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC). The nationwide truck drivers’ protest against a new penal provision in hit-and-run cases had sparked panic buying of fuel and essential items in several states.

hit and run
Truck and bus drivers burn tyres during a protest against new provisions regarding hit-and-run cases under Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, in Hajipur on Tuesday. (photo:indianexpress)

AIMTC member Amrik Singh stated on Tuesday night that he had received an assurance from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) during a meeting with the transporters that Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla arranged.

What prompted the protest to begin?

The new criminal law, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), which includes harsher punishments for hit-and-run incidents, has been met with protests by truck drivers.

A fine and imprisonment of up to ten years are the penalties for “anyone who causes the death of any person by rash and negligent driving of vehicle not amounting to culpable homicide, and escapes without reporting it to a police officer or a magistrate soon after the incident,” as stated in the new BNS provision.

According to the amended laws, a truck driver who flees the scene of an accident without reporting it to the authorities faces up to a 10-year jail sentence or a fine of ₹7 lakh.

Compared to the old Indian Penal Code (IPC), which only allowed for a 2-year prison sentence for similar offenses, this represents a major increase.

“This law is not yet in effect, but it is soon to be implemented,” “Ham ye kanoon laagu nahi hone denge (We will not allow these laws to be implemented),” declared Bal Mankit Singh, the chairman of the AIMTC organizing committee.

What is revealed by India’s traffic accident data?

In 2022, there were over 4.6 lakh road accidents in India, accounting for the frightening 12 percent increase in the number of fatalities per hour. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) released a report on this subject.

53 traffic accidents happen in the nation per hour, according to the research.

hit and run
Jammu: Oil tankers parked at a ground during a protest by All Jammu and Kashmir Oil Tankers Association in Jammu, Tuesday,  involving motorists.(PTI photo)

“States and Union Territories (UTs) recorded a total of 4,61,312 traffic accidents in 2022; these incidents resulted in 1,68,491 fatalities and 4,43,366 injuries.

“Compared to the previous year, there has been an increase of 11.9% in accidents, 9.4% in fatalities, and 15.3% in injuries,” the “Road accidents in India — 2022” study stated.


In terms of overall accident fatalities in 2022, “Hit from Back” accounted for the highest percentage (19.5%), followed by “Hit and Run” and “Head on Collision,” with respective percentages of 18.1% and 15.7%.


How is the protest being canceled?

The All India Motor Transport Association (AIMTC) has decided to call off the nationwide truck drivers’ protests against the recently enacted hit-and-run rule after speaking with Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla.


“The government wants to point out that these new laws and provisions have not yet come into force,” Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla stated. After meeting with a team from the AIMTC, he stated, “We would also like to point out that the decision to invoke Section 106 (2) of the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita “After thorough discussions and consultations with the All India Motor Transport Congress, the implementation of the Sanhita will be finalized.”

According to Bhalla, the administration is aware of the truckers’ worries about the 10-year jail sentence.

Truckers in different states have opposed the recently enacted legal provision for hit-and-run occurrences in the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, calling it a “kaala kanoon” (black law).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *