The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 has come into force today, and with its roll-out come higher penalties for traffic offenses. The higher fines are a much-needed measure to curb traffic offenses in India, which has some the world’s unsafest roads when it comes to driving. The government expects the higher fines to be a stronger deterrent for road users breaking the rules.
A list of some of the new fines are below:
Section under 1988 Act
Driving without license
Driving despite disqualification
Rs 1,000-2,000 (light motor vehicle)
Rs 2,000-4,000 (medium passenger vehicle)
Imprisonment of 6 months-1 year and/or fine of Rs 1,000-5,000 for first offence. Imprisonment up to 2 years and/or fine up to Rs 10,000 for second offence.
Imprisonment up to 6 months and/or fine up to Rs 10,000 for first offence. Imprisonment up to 2 years and/or fine of Rs 15,000 for second offence.
Imprisonment of up to 1 month and/or fine up to Rs 500 for first offence. Imprisonment up to 1month and/or fine up to Rs 10,000 for second offence.
Rs 1,000 per extra passenger
Rs 2,000; license disqualification for 3 months
Rs 1000; license disqualification for 3 months
Not providing way to emergency vehicle
Driving without insurance
Rs 1,000-2,000 and/or punishment up to 3 months for first offence. Rs 4000 and/or imprisonment up to 3 months for second offence
Failure to comply with standards for road design, construction and maintenance
Up to Rs 1 lakh
Offences by juveniles
Guardian/vehicle owner deemed guilty - Rs 25,000 with 3 years imprisonment. Vehicle registration cancelled for 12 months. Juvenile ineligible to obtain license until the age of 25 years.
Offenses committed by enforcing agencies
Double of applicable penalty
In addition to the fines and penalties, the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019 also covers other areas of road transport.
Green and safe
Making our roads safer and our vehicles less hazardous to the environment has been a recurring theme. Due to this, one of the major changes to the original Act is to allow the Central Government to issue directions to manufacturers to retrofit safety and emissions control equipment on motor vehicles, in accordance with such standards and specifications as directed by it. In addition, State and Regional Transport Authorities have been further empowered to issue directives and institute schemes to decrease overcrowding of roads with reference to parking spaces and halting stations and better road safety.
Focus on convenience
In order to make processes – such as getting a driver’s license, registration of vehicles and changes to be made to various documents – easier, various clauses and sections of the 1988 Act have been amended. One of the foremost changes is that applications for documentation – from a learner’s license and change of address on a license to vehicle registration and permits – can be made at any licensing authority in the State and can be done online. The amendment also adds further stipulations for the renewal of driver’s licenses – a license holder can apply for renewal one year before its expiry and up to one year after. After this duration, the applicant will have to pass a driving test again.
Companies like Reliance General Insurance are expecting to see a spike in insurance renewals and new car insurance, thanks to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019.