The new Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced on June 15, 2019 by the union ministry of transport in the Lok Sabha. After being passed in the lower house of the parliament, the Rajya Sabha has suggested some changes, and sent back the bill to the Lok Sabha. Even as the changes are being scrutinized in the lower house, the transport ministry, on August 28, 2019, issued a notification listing the new motor vehicle rules, including fines and penalties that will be applicable from September 1, 2019. Here is a list of the new traffic fines, as per the new Motor Vehicle Act, which has amended the previous Motor Vehicle Act of 1987:
Penalty for offenses where no penalty is specifically provided: The new Motor Vehicle Act has increased the traffic fine in the offences pertaining to committing driving errors. In the case of committing a driving error, for which there is no specific provision of law, you have to pay a fine of Rs 500 for the first offence and Rs 1,500 for the second or subsequent offence. Earlier, the penalties were Rs 100 and Rs 300 for the first and second subsequent non-specified driving errors respectively.
Violation of road regulations: While there was no mention of this category in the Motor Vehicle Act of 1987, the new act prescribes a fine ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 for violation of road regulations.
Disobedience of orders of authority and refusal to share information: According to the new Motor Vehicle Act, the traffic fine has been increased to Rs 2,000 from the existing Rs 500.
Unauthorized use of vehicles without a license: From the existing fine of Rs 1,000, the new traffic rules have enhanced it to Rs 5,000.
Driving without license: This category has seen a ten-fold increase in traffic fine from the existing Rs 500 to Rs 5,000.
Driving despite disqualification: The new traffic rules have increased the traffic fine 20 times for this offence, from the existing Rs 500 to Rs 10,000.
Over speeding: The rule for over speeding has become stricter. While earlier you could get away by paying a fine of Rs 400, the new Motor Vehicle Act prescribes a fine from Rs 1, 000 to Rs 2,000 for Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and between Rs 2,000 and Rs 4,000 for medium passenger or goods vehicles. The driving license will be impounded for the second/subsequent offence.
Dangerous Driving: This will cost offenders a fine ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 for the first offence or/and an imprisonment term ranging from six months to a year. The traffic fine is Rs 10,000 for the subsequent offence.
Drunken Driving: The penalty for drunk driving is among the stiffest with the new traffic rules prescribing a fine up to Rs 10,000 and/or imprisonment up to six months. The prison term for the second offence can go up to two years along with a fine of Rs 15,000.
Offences relating to accident: Various offences pertaining to causing accidents can attract an imprisonment term of up to six months and/or a fine of Rs 5,000. The traffic fine for the subsequent offence is Rs 10,000.
Racing and speeding: Indulging in racing and speeding will result in imprisonment of up to one month and/or fine up to Rs 500 for first offence. While the imprisonment term will remain the same for the second/subsequent offence, the traffic fine will be further increased to Rs 10,000.
Driving uninsured vehicle: If you are found driving an insured vehicle, it can attract a traffic fine of Rs 2,000 and/or imprisonment up to three months for the first offence and an enhanced fine of Rs. 4000 for the second offence.
Causing obstruction to ambulances and emergency vehicles: As per the new traffic rules, obstructing ambulances will cost you a fine of Rs 10,000
Jumping traffic lights and using mobile phone: You can be imprisoned for up to one year and/or face penalty of Rs 5,000.
Seat belt and helmets: If you are found driving without a seat belt, a fine of Rs.1,000 will be levied. Under the new traffic rules, not wearing helmets can result in a fine of Rs.1,000. You license can also be suspended for three months.
Punishment for parents if a minor is found driving: This is one among the strictest provisions of the new Motor Vehicle Act. The bill inserts two new provisions in the Motor Vehicle Act, namely Sections 199A and 199B, as per which, parents/guardians of the minor found driving could face imprisonment up to three years and/or a fine of Rs 25,000. The minor would also be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.
Why has the government imposed stiffer traffic fines?
The ministry of transport and highways has increased the fines to sensitize people about following road safety measures, which would curb the spiralling accidents in the country. According to a government report, the number of road accident fatalities ranged between 1.46 lakh and 1.5 lakh from 2015 to 2017.
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