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As per Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code, any individual found guilty of rash or negligent driving, endangering human life, can be punished by law. As per the law, such an individual can be imprisoned for a period of up to 6 months, fined ₹1,000, or both. Negligent driving refers to a situation wherein an individual is driving without following the basic road safety rules, putting other people’s lives at risk. In case of an injury to or death of a person due to negligent driving, the driver will be booked under Section 337 and Section 338 of the Indian Penal Code.

What is Section 279 IPC?

Under Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code, any individual who is driving or riding a vehicle in a negligent manner, thereby endangering human life, will be punished by law. The punishment under this section is imprisonment up to six months, a penalty of ₹1,000, or both.





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Driving/riding a vehicle on public ways in a rash or negligent manner, which endangers human life or is likely to injure others

Imprisonment of up to six months and/or ₹1,000 penalty




Any Magistrate

Now, let's look at what could be considered as reckless or negligent driving.

What is Meant by Negligent and Rash Driving?

When an individual is driving a vehicle without following the driving or road safety rules, it is considered an offence. However, just overspeeding a little does not count as reckless or rash driving. In fact, if the driver is capable of controlling the car at high speed, or if the road being driven on is empty, then it is not considered negligent or rash driving.


However, if an individual is carelessly driving a vehicle on public roads, thereby putting other people’s lives at risk, they will be found guilty u/s 279 of IPC.

What will Happen if the Driver Causes Death or Injury of a Person?

If the driver of any vehicle causes an accident due to negligent driving, thereby endangering the lives of human beings, they are considered guilty under Section 279 of the IPC. They will also be guilty u/s 337 of IPC, and Section 338 of IPC.


If the driver causes the death of a person while driving under the influence of any intoxicants, they will be considered guilty u/s 304A of the IPC.


Therefore, Section 279 of the IPC only deals with negligent and rash driving/riding on public roads that can put the lives of other people in danger. However, if the driver causes death or any bodily injuries to other people, then the person is also charged u/s 337, 338, and 304A of the IPC.


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Wrapping it up!

If you are found guilty of an offence under Section 279 of IPC, you will have to face the consequences as mentioned above. Hence, it is your responsibility to drive carefully because even a minor error can send you behind bars.


The government has implemented laws like Section 279 IPC to ensure that Indian roads are safe to travel. Another law under the Motor Vehicle Act is the requirement of a valid motor insurance for your vehicle. So, if you don't have valid insurance for your car or bike, explore the motor insurance plans available at Bajaj Markets.

FAQs on Section 279 IPC of MV Act

The offence under Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code is about rash and negligent driving on public roads that may put other people’s lives in danger.

The punishment imposed under Section 279 of IPC is imprisonment of up to six months, penalty, or both.

A best criminal case lawyer can help you file/defend yourself in case you are found guilty under Section 279 of IPC.

Yes, offences under Section 279 IPC are bailable offences.

Yes, the offences under Section 279 of IPC are cognizable.

 The punishment under IPC Sec 279 is imprisonment of up to 6 months, a penalty of up to ₹1,000, or both.

 The fine amount under Section 279 IPC can extend up to ₹1,000.

 A cognizable offence is a serious offence where the police can arrest the offender without any warrant.

 Section 279 IPC is a cognizable offence.

Yes, Section 279 IPC is a bailable offence.

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