The Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019 came into force from the 1st of September, 2019. The Act has been much needed in the country due to the observed lax behavior of citizens towards road safety and traffic rules. According to the act, the penalties for all traffic violators will be stricter than before and the fines more costly. The government expects the higher amounts of the fines to be a strong deterrent for people breaking the traffic rules. The amendments include many new rules in addition to the existing penalties.
Introdutions and Ammendments
For the protection of good Samaritans, there is a new law that allows citizens who are willing to provide any assistance to road accident victims, a safeguard from the scrutiny of medical officials or law enforcement, for the same incident. Another important part of this new Act is the Motor Vehicle Accident fund, which will be used to insure all the road users in the country. The funds will be used for the treatment of the victims of road accidents, and for the compensation of people injured in hit and run or any other road disaster and compensation to the family of the victim in case of their demise in such an accident.
From now on it will be mandatory to use the Aadhar card as a confirmatory proof for the details on your driver’s license. Implementation of the Act has given the government a privilege of recalling any vehicle deemed unsafe for the driver or passers-by or even to the environment.
India is known to be among the world’s most unsafe places to drive in, with the drivers’ complete lack of education and regard of the traffic laws and rules. The new set of rules are meant to address any such shortcomings in traffic control and management our country in the years to come.
Driving and Road Safety
The biggest part of the Act is the tenfold increase in all the fines for breaking traffic rules no matter how simple. A person driving without a license was previously fined a sum of Rs. Five hundred which has now been increased to Rs. five thousand, and the fine for driving a vehicle despite its disqualification by the regional transport authority also Rs. Five hundred earlier, has now been increased to Rs. Ten thousand.
Over speeding and Dangerous driving is one of the biggest problems in our country and a cause for most of the road accidents. Hence, it was necessary to imply a high penalty amount for these offences. For over speeding, the fine an offender has to pay is now between Rs. one and two thousand for light motor vehicles and two and four thousand for a medium passenger as in place of the meager Rs. four hundred for both. For reckless driving, the fine has been increased from Rs. One thousand to five thousand and/or imprisonment of up to six months to a year for first offence, and imprisonment of upto 2 years and/or a fine of Rs. Ten thousand for repeated offence.
Illegal racers caught in the act, would be paying up to Rs. Five thousand and/or imprisonment for 1 month for the first time, and Rs. ten thousand along with their car being impounded for a second offence, as compared to a “tap on the wrist” amount of Rs. Five hundred for either case.
Drunk driving is a very serious felony and the government agreeing with this assessment, has made it punishable with imprisonment up to six months and Rs 10000 as fine for the first time offenders; if caught again the person could be sentenced to jail for two years and fined Rs. fifteen thousand.
Misdemeanors such as riding without a helmet, overloading (two wheelers) and driving without seatbelts were previously punished with a minimal amount of Rs. 100 and have been upgraded to disqualification of the driver’s license up to three months and reparation cost of Rs. one thousand and Rs. two thousand respectively, and for driving without a seat belt one will be fined a sum of Rs. one thousand at least.
If someone is driving without insurance they will have to pay a fine of Rs. one to two thousand for their first lapse and if caught a second time, a fine of Rs. four thousand and/or imprisonment up to three months will be applicable.
Other than these basic traffic rule violations, if people are seen not making way for an emergency vehicle they will be penalized with an amount of Rs. ten thousand.
Even in failure to comply with standards for road design, construction and maintenance by contractors, engineers, or validating authority or all those involved, the offenders can pay up to one lakh rupees.
Laws for the delinquent juveniles are also stricter and if any under-age is caught in these acts of misconduct the guardian or the owner of the vehicle will be deemed responsible and will have to pay a price of twenty five thousand rupees with three years of jail time and their vehicle registration will be cancelled for at least twelve months. The underage offender will be ineligible to obtain license until the age of twenty five. If the offences are committed by any element of an enforcing agency, their punishment will be the double of applicable penalty.
The new Motor Vehicle Amendment Act is very passionate and the need of the hour with our citizens having become more and more ignorant to the safety norms. The only hurdle now seems to be its proper implementation pan India.