Pune, 2nd January 2024: In response to the newly implemented ‘Hit and Run 2023’ law, the central government is facing a wave of dissent from the driving community, with a massive protest scheduled at Jantar Mantar in Delhi starting January 3.
Under the new law, drivers who flee the scene after an accident now face a hefty ten years imprisonment along with a fine of Rs seven lakh. This has stirred significant resentment among the estimated 22 to 25 crore drivers nationwide, encompassing cargo transport, passenger transport, and rickshaw drivers.
The discontent has prompted a collective protest organized by 750 driver associations from across the country. The demonstrators are not only rallying against the stringent penalty but are also demanding attention to long-standing grievances that have been overlooked by the government.
National President of Autorickshaw, Taxi, Truck, Bus, Driver Owners Federation, Baba Kamble, expressed that the central government’s indifference to drivers’ concerns has led to this unified protest. Thousands of drivers from Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad city, and Pune district are expected to join the demonstration at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
To accommodate those unable to participate in the Delhi protest, Kamble has urged drivers to stage demonstrations in front of District Collector’s offices and regional transport offices (RTO) in Maharashtra at 10 am on Wednesday (3rd January).
The key demands of the protesting drivers include the withdrawal of the ‘Hit and Run 2023’ law, establishment of a National Welfare Board for all drivers and owners, creation of a National Drivers Commission, nationwide celebration of Driver’s Day, and the construction of a national memorial for drivers in Delhi.