An amended Motor Vehicles Act is in effect since September 1st, 2019. What it means for you as a motorist is that for not abiding by traffic laws, the fines are steep. The higher fines will aim to make the roads safer and instil some fear among road users, who would throw caution to the wind and use the roads like there were no rules. Some offences now attract a penalty which is 10 times more than what it used to be according to the old act. Here are what the new penalties look like:
- Section 181: Driving without a licence – INR 5,000
- Section 182: Driving despite being disqualified – INR 10,000
- Section 183: Over Speeding – INR 1,000 – 2,000 (LMV), INR 2,000 – 4,000 (Medium-sized Passenger Vehicle)
- Section 184: Rash Driving – Imprisonment of 6 months-1 year and/or fine of Rs 1,000-5,000 for the first offence. Imprisonment up to 2 years and/or fine up to Rs 10,000 for a repeat offence
- Section 185: Drunk Driving – Imprisonment up to 6 months and/or fine up to Rs 10,000 for the first offence. Imprisonment up to 2 years and/or fine of Rs 15,000 for a repeat offence
- Section 186: Racing on Public Roads – Imprisonment of up to 1 month and/or fine up to Rs 500 for the first offence. Imprisonment up to 1 month and/or fine up to Rs 10,000 for a repeat offence
- Section 194A: Overloading – Rs 1,000 per extra passenger
- Section 194B: Driving without a seatbelt – Rs 1,000
- Section 194C: Riding a two-wheeler with extra load or more than permitted passengers – Rs 2,000; license disqualification for 3 months
- Section 194D: Riding without a helmet – Rs 1000; license disqualification for 3 months
- Section 194E: Blocking the path of emergency vehicles – Rs 10,000
- Section 196: Driving without insurance – Rs 1,000-2,000 and/or punishment up to 3 months for the first offence. Rs 4000 and/or imprisonment up to 3 months for a repeat offence
- Section 199: Offences by juveniles – Guardian/owner deemed guilty – Rs 25,000 with 3 years imprisonment. Vehicle registration cancelled for 12 months. Juvenile ineligible to obtain a license until the age of 25 years.
- Section 210B: Offenses committed by enforcing agencies – Twice the amount of applicable penalties
Besides the hike in the amount, the process of obtaining a driving licence and getting other RTO-related work done has now become easier and a lot of processes have been shifted online. However, many are also of the view that this hike in penalties will only increase corruption since the use of technology for enforcement is still minimal.