Today is the second day of the strike by drivers in protest against the toughening of punishment in the hit and run law. The effect of the strike is visible in many states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand. Long queues were observed at petrol pumps in various cities across the country, and commuters also faced problems as bus operators and drivers were also on the strike. Along with petrol, vegetables, fruits, and essential goods, supply was also affected due to the truck strike. The traders warned that the situation may turn worse and that there could be a price rise in commodities if protests don’t end.
Truckers are protesting against this change, claiming that this provision will prove draconian for truck drivers and discourage more people from choosing truck driving as a way to earn their livelihoods. Under the previous legislation, drivers could be imprisoned for up to two years under IPC Section 304A (death by negligence). The protesting drivers are demanding the repeal of these new provisions, asserting that the stringent penalties are a threat to their jobs. The Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, which is set to replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, has a provision to punish drivers for up to 10 years and impose a fine of Rs 7 lakh in cases of serious road accidents due to negligent driving and fleeing without informing officials.