Why New Motor Vehicles Act with hefty fines is unique

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Among all the bills passed by the Modi government, the only one that concerns the common man the most is the new Motor Vehicles Act, 2019. The reason behind the concern is due to the hefty fines imposed for violating the traffic safety rules.

The main reason for implementing stricter traffic safety rules and heftier fines is to make the Indian roads safer. Over the last decade, the road accident rate across the country has gone up drastically. To get the numbers under control and make people follow the traffic rules for their own safety, the new Motor Vehicles Act was necessary.

The government assures that this step has not been taken to augment revenue. In case the state government wants to decrease the imposed penalty structure, it is free to do so.

However, despite a clear motive, there have been certain states that have opposed the bill. The first state to do so is none other than Gujarat. Other states that have not implemented the new rules or have slashed the penalty prices include Maharashtra and Jharkhand.

For states that have expressed their reservations over implementing the New Motor Vehicles Act or have cut rates include Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Kerala, West Bengal, Telangana, and Punjab.

However, this year, the new regulations have come into force and penalties have been imposed on people who will be violating traffic safety rules. The updated penalty structure under the new Motor Vehicles Act, 2019 is as follows –

OFFENCEOLD PENALTYNEW PENALTY
General (offences for which no penalty is defined otherwise)INR100 for the first offence; INR300 for subsequent offenceINR500 for the first offence; INR1,500 for subsequent offence
Road regulation violationINR100INR500
Disobedience of orders of authoritiesINR500INR2,000
Unauthorized use of vehicles without licenseINR1,000INR1,000 – INR5,000
Driving without licenseINR500INR5,000 and/or community service
Driving despite disqualificationINR500INR10,000 and/or community service
Oversized vehiclesN/AINR5,000 – INR10,000 and/or community service
Over-speedingINR400INR1,000 – INR2,000 for LMV

INR2,000 – INR4,000 for MPV/HPV and/or impounding of driving license

Dangerous driving (e.g. jumping a red light)INR1,000INR1,000 – INR5,000 and/or imprisonment of 6 months to 1 year for the first offence, seizure of license; INR 10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years for a subsequent offence
Drink drivingINR2,000INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months to 1 year for the first offence; INR 15,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years for a subsequent offence
Speeding/RacingINR500INR5,000 and/or imprisonment of 1 month, community service; INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 1 month for a subsequent offence
Offences relating to an accidentN/AUp to INR5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months for the first offence; INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 1 year for a subsequent offence
Driving when mentally/physically unfit to driveINR200 for the first offence; INR500 for a subsequent offenceINR1,000 for the first offence; INR2,000 for a subsequent offence
Vehicle without permitUp to INR5,000INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months, community service
Aggregators (violations of licensing conditions)N/AINR25,000 to INR1 lakh
OverloadingINR2,000 and INR1,000 per extra tonneINR20,000 and INR2,000 per extra tonne
Overloading of passengersN/AINR1,000 per extra passenger
No Seat beltINR100INR1,000 and/or community service
Overloading of two wheelersINR100INR2,000, disqualification of license for 3 months and/or community service
Not wearing a helmetINR100INR1,000 and/or disqualification of license for 3 months, community service
Not providing a way for emergency vehicles like ambulanceN/AINR10,000 and/or community service
Driving without insuranceINR1,000 and/or punishment up to 3 monthsINR 2,000 and/or imprisonment up to 3 months for the first offence; INR 4000 and/or imprisonment up to 3 months for the subsequent offence
Offences by juvenilesN/AGuardian/owner shall be deemed to be guilty. INR25,000 with 3 years imprisonment and cancellation of the registration of the vehicle for 12 months. A Juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.
Power of officers to impound documentsN/ASuspension of driving license
Offences committed by enforcing authoritiesN/ATwice the penalty under the relevant section
Taking a vehicle without lawful authority/seizing motor vehicle by forceINR500INR5,000
Obstructing the free flow of trafficINR50INR500

Section 177 of Motor Vehicle Act hopes to get the citizens of India to follow traffic safety rules, further making the Indian roads safer to travel and get the road accident rate under control.

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