What is the Motor Vehicle Act?

The original Motor Vehicle Act was passed in 1988 and specified regulations for all transport vehicles. The act governs almost all aspects regarding the ownership and usage of road transport vehicles and deals with matters such as traffic regulations, vehicle insurance, registration of vehicles and the fines associated with various types of offences.

Key Features Of MV Act

The act laid out guidelines on the licensing of conductors and drivers, registration guidelines for all classes of vehicles, provisions for permits, traffic and road safety regulations, insurance, liabilities and penalties. It also made it compulsory to possess a driving licence in order to operate a vehicle on Indian roads and mandated that all vehicles must be registered under the Motor Vehicle Act by their respective owners.

Offences Covered under the Motor Vehicle Act:

Some of the offences covered under the original Motor Vehicle Act include:

  • Driving without a licence
  • Allowing someone without a licence to operate a vehicle owned by you
  • Not possessing all of the relevant documentation required to operate a motor vehicle on Indian roads
  • Driving without  insurance
  • Driving without a permit if required
  • Driving without a vehicle fitness report
  • Driving without a registration certificate or R.C.
  • Operation of a vehicle by a minor
  • Letting an unauthorized individual to operate your vehicle
  • Riding certain motor vehicles without a helmet
  • Driving without fastening your seat belt
  • Driving over the speed-limit and rash driving
  • Dangerous driving
  • Driving against the flow of traffic in a one way lane

Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill

The Indian parliament passed the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill in July of 2019. The amended Motor Vehicle Act came into force later that year in September and specified increases in a number of fines for traffic violations, safeguards to Good Samaritans, provisions for the recall of defective parts by automobile manufacturers, holding builders accountable for poor infrastructure and making vehicle owners criminally liable for infractions committed by juvenile drivers. The new act has raised the fines for a number of violations in order to deter drivers from behaving improperly on roads and to ensure better road safety across the country.

Proposals in the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill

  • The Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill of 2019 made Aadhar a mandatory requirement for procuring a driving licence or registration certificate.
  • The compensation for the families of hit and run victims was raised from Rs.25,000 to Rs. 2 Lakhs
  • There are provisions for the protection of Good Samaritans who come forward and help accident victims as they will be protected against civil or criminal liabilities and may remain anonymous if they wish to do so.
  • The Motor Vehicle Accident Fund will now provide insurance cover to all road users for some types of accidents.
  • A six month limit has been specified for an application of compensation to the Claims Tribunal for road accidents.
  • Contractors, consultants and civic agencies are now held accountable  for faulty design and  construction or improper maintenance of roads that may cause accidents.
  • There is now no cap on liability for third-party insurance as the 2016 Bill had capped this at Rs. 10 Lakhs for death and Rs. 5 Lakhs in case of grievous injury.

New Proposed Fines under the Amended  Motor Vehicles Act

A number of traffic violations have had their fines raised in order to ensure that and their breach comes with more serious consequences than earlier. Some of these new proposed fines include:

  • The fine for drunk driving was raised from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 10,000 and six months imprisonment with repeat offences warranting a fine of Rs. 15,000
  • Rash driving is now fined at Rs. 5,000 instead of Rs. 1,000.
  • Driving without a licence is now fined at Rs. 5,000 instead of Rs. 500 as earlier.
  • Juveniles will now be tried under the Juvenile Justice act and their guardians will be penalized with the cancellation of their registration, a Rs. 25,000 fine and 3 years imprisonment.
  • In case a manufacturer fails to comply with vehicular standards, they may face a fine of Rs. 100 crore or 1 year of imprisonment.
  • If a contractor does not abide by road design standards, they may be fined up to Rs. 1 lakh.
  • Driving without insurance will now be fined at Rs. 2000.
  • Riding without a helmet will be fined at Rs. 1,000 and cancellation of the offender’s licence.
  • Driving without a seat belt will be fined at Rs. 1,000.
  • Speeding or racing is now fined at RS. 5,000 instead of Rs. 500.
  • Not giving way to emergency vehicles now warrants a fine of Rs. 10,000.

New vs Old Traffic Fines For Different Violations:

Listed below is a comparison between the pre existing fines for traffic violations and the new ones propose by the amended Motor Vehicle Act:

Offense

New Penalty Under 2019 Amendment

Old Penalty

Driving  without a Licence

₹5,000 and/or community service

₹500

Driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance

₹10,000 and/or 6 months prison | ₹15,000 and/or 2 years jail for repetitive violation.

₹2,000

Driving over the Speed Limit

LMV: ₹1,000- ₹2,000 MPV/HPV: ₹2,000- ₹4,000 (+ licence seizure)

₹400

Driving without a Seat Belt

₹1,000 and/or community service

₹100

Driving without Insurance

₹2,000 and/or 3-months prison, community service | ₹4,000 for subsequent offence

₹1,000

Violating Road Regulations

₹500- ₹1000

₹100

Dangerous Driving and Jumping Red Lights

₹1,000- ₹5,000 and/or 6-months to 1 year in prison, licence seizure

₹100 - ₹300

Driving while speaking into or using a mobile phone

₹5,000

₹1,000

Speeding, Racing

₹5,000 and/or 3-months prison, community service | ₹10,000 for subsequent violation and up to 1 year in prison, community service

₹500

Not Giving Way to Emergency Vehicles like Ambulances, Fire Engines, etc.

₹10,000 and/or community service

₹500

Riding a bike without Helmet (rider and pillion rider)

₹1000, and or licence disqualification, community service for 3-months

₹100

Overloading Two-Wheelers

₹2,000 and licence disqualification and/or 3-months of community service

₹100

Juvenile Offences

₹25,000 with 3-years prison, cancellation of registration for 1-year, juvenile ineligible for licence until 25 years of age.

-

Driving Despite Disqualification

₹10,000, and/or community service

₹500

Overboarding Passengers

₹200 for every extra passenger and/or community service

-

Driving/Riding without Ticket

₹500

₹200

Offence Committed by Enforcing Authorities Such as Offering Bribes

Twice the penalty (varies according to traffic rules violated)

-

Unauthorized Use of Vehicles Without Licence

₹1,000- ₹5,000

₹1,000

Disobedience of Orders of the Authorities

₹2,000

₹500

Vehicles without Permit

₹10,000 and/or up to 6-months prison, community service

Up to ₹5,000

Oversized Vehicles

₹5,000 to ₹10,000 and/or community service

-

Overloading

₹20,000 + ₹2,000 for every extra tonne and/or community service

₹2,000 + ₹1,000 for every extra tonne

Driving/Riding without Licence (for Aggregators)

₹25,000 to ₹1,00,000

-

Driving/Riding without Registration

₹5,000 | ₹10,000 for subsequent offence

-

Using Horn in Silent Zone

₹2,000 | ₹4,000 for subsequent offence

-

Importance of Motor Insurance:

It is mandatory to possess at least third party insurance in order to register and make use of a vehicle on Indian roads. However, there may still be many who do not yet possess this most basic form of coverage. The New Motor Vehicle Act of 2019 proposed a Rs.2,000 and/or 3-months prison and community service penalty for driving without insurance and a Rs. 4,000 fine for subsequent offences. These are fairly heavy penalties that may be a burden for most which serves to emphasize the importance of possessing some form of motor insurance. Car insurance and bike  insurance policies available on the Finserv MARKETS portal provide flexible policy structures, coverage amounts and excellent customer service. Opting for these through the  Finserv MARKETS platform helps keep the application process frictionless ensuring that you can make hassle free use of your vehicle on the road. 

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