Why New Motor Vehicles Act with hefty fines is unique
Among all the bills passed by the Modi government, the only one that concerns the common man the most is the new Motor Vehicles Act, 2019. The reason behind the concern is due to the hefty fines imposed for violating the traffic safety rules.
The main reason for implementing stricter traffic safety rules and heftier fines is to make the Indian roads safer. Over the last decade, the road accident rate across the country has gone up drastically. To get the numbers under control and make people follow the traffic rules for their own safety, the new Motor Vehicles Act was necessary.
The government assures that this step has not been taken to augment revenue. In case the state government wants to decrease the imposed penalty structure, it is free to do so.
However, despite a clear motive, there have been certain states that have opposed the bill. The first state to do so is none other than Gujarat. Other states that have not implemented the new rules or have slashed the penalty prices include Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
For states that have expressed their reservations over implementing the New Motor Vehicles Act or have cut rates include Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Kerala, West Bengal, Telangana, and Punjab.
However, this year, the new regulations have come into force and penalties have been imposed on people who will be violating traffic safety rules. The updated penalty structure under the new Motor Vehicles Act, 2019 is as follows –
|OFFENCE||OLD PENALTY||NEW PENALTY|
|General (offences for which no penalty is defined otherwise)||INR100 for the first offence; INR300 for subsequent offence||INR500 for the first offence; INR1,500 for subsequent offence|
|Road regulation violation||INR100||INR500|
|Disobedience of orders of authorities||INR500||INR2,000|
|Unauthorized use of vehicles without license||INR1,000||INR1,000 – INR5,000|
|Driving without license||INR500||INR5,000 and/or community service|
|Driving despite disqualification||INR500||INR10,000 and/or community service|
|Oversized vehicles||N/A||INR5,000 – INR10,000 and/or community service|
|Over-speeding||INR400||INR1,000 – INR2,000 for LMV
INR2,000 – INR4,000 for MPV/HPV and/or impounding of driving license
|Dangerous driving (e.g. jumping a red light)||INR1,000||INR1,000 – INR5,000 and/or imprisonment of 6 months to 1 year for the first offence, seizure of license; INR 10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years for a subsequent offence|
|Drink driving||INR2,000||INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months to 1 year for the first offence; INR 15,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years for a subsequent offence|
|Speeding/Racing||INR500||INR5,000 and/or imprisonment of 1 month, community service; INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 1 month for a subsequent offence|
|Offences relating to an accident||N/A||Up to INR5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months for the first offence; INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 1 year for a subsequent offence|
|Driving when mentally/physically unfit to drive||INR200 for the first offence; INR500 for a subsequent offence||INR1,000 for the first offence; INR2,000 for a subsequent offence|
|Vehicle without permit||Up to INR5,000||INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months, community service|
|Aggregators (violations of licensing conditions)||N/A||INR25,000 to INR1 lakh|
|Overloading||INR2,000 and INR1,000 per extra tonne||INR20,000 and INR2,000 per extra tonne|
|Overloading of passengers||N/A||INR1,000 per extra passenger|
|No Seat belt||INR100||INR1,000 and/or community service|
|Overloading of two wheelers||INR100||INR2,000, disqualification of license for 3 months and/or community service|
|Not wearing a helmet||INR100||INR1,000 and/or disqualification of license for 3 months, community service|
|Not providing a way for emergency vehicles like ambulance||N/A||INR10,000 and/or community service|
|Driving without insurance||INR1,000 and/or punishment up to 3 months||INR 2,000 and/or imprisonment up to 3 months for the first offence; INR 4000 and/or imprisonment up to 3 months for the subsequent offence|
|Offences by juveniles||N/A||Guardian/owner shall be deemed to be guilty. INR25,000 with 3 years imprisonment and cancellation of the registration of the vehicle for 12 months. A Juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.|
|Power of officers to impound documents||N/A||Suspension of driving license|
|Offences committed by enforcing authorities||N/A||Twice the penalty under the relevant section|
|Taking a vehicle without lawful authority/seizing motor vehicle by force||INR500||INR5,000|
|Obstructing the free flow of traffic||INR50||INR500|
Section 177 of Motor Vehicle Act hopes to get the citizens of India to follow traffic safety rules, further making the Indian roads safer to travel and get the road accident rate under control.