Well, if you are an owner of any kind of vehicle, September 1 of 2019 was a date which you will never forget. This was the day when the new Motor Vehicles Act came into force after amending many of the procedures of the already existing act.
If you are in touch with the latest happenings of this particular act, you might be aware that higher penalties and added imprisonment are the key components of this new Motor Vehicles Act. Starting from high penalty fines for improper riding of vehicles to a month’s imprisonment for illegal speeding, the new Motor Vehicles Act has become the talk of the town.
So, let us get into more details of this new Motor Vehicles Act which is causing a great amount of fear among the entire population.
What is the Motor Vehicles Act?
The Motor Vehicles Act is the brainchild of the Group of Transport Ministers of States who prepared a bill of the Motor Vehicles Act Amendment. The crucial thing which was kept in mind during the formulation of this particular bill is that there should be measures which would instill a certain amount of fear among the vehicle owners so that they refrain themselves from breaking even a single rule of traffic. Given the fact that the earlier act could not achieve certain restrictions on the vehicle owners, the drafting committee of the new bill focused on increasing the penalties and fines to curb the violations of the traffic rules.
So, if you were used to paying a very minute penalty for riding without helmet, drunk driving or any such violations, you are about to get shocked as most of the fines have been doubled or increased in excess of 100% to stop any kind of violations on the road. And another aspect of this new Motor Vehicles Act is that all the new set of fines and penalties will be increased by 10% every financial year and so, it is a great idea to read and study all the traffic laws and rules and prevent yourself from paying any kind of such hefty fines.
On a positive note, the new Motor Vehicles Act also provides various relaxation to the civilians as it has a provision of extension of the renewal procedure of driving license which can be renewed within one year after the expiry of your current driving license. Apart from this, if you are providing any kind of social service or medical assistance in case of an emergency situation, you will get exemptions from many of the rules and laws of the new Motor Vehicles Act. So, on the whole, it can be said that although the punishments have become stricter on the defaulters, yet, there is some room for charity and emergency services, which is indeed a good initiative.
Let’s discuss about the revised penalties and fines for various kinds of violations of the Motor Vehicles Act, 2019.
Breaking the traffic rules and regulations were already categorized under criminal offense and were subjected to various fines, penalties and many other punishments in the earlier Motor Vehicles Act. But the new and amended act of 2019 aims to make it near about impossible for the defaulters to keep on repeating their mistakes again and again. So, earlier if you are found not wearing a helmet during your ride, the fine was nearly Rs. 100, but now, it has been increased to Rs. 1000and a 3 month’s cancellation of your license, which is sure to make you wear the helmet every time you take out your bike or scooter. Similarly, if you were driving a car and found driving without a seatbelt, you might have to pay Rs. 1000 as penalty.
Earlier, a case of drunk driving used to be fined Rs. 500, but now, the new act attracts a penalty fine of Rs. 10,000 for drunk driving. Apart from this, if you are found to be indulged in Illegal racing or speeding on speed-limited roads, you can be fined for Rs. 5000, which was earlier fixed at Rs. 500. Apart from this, if you found to be driving without a valid Driving License and other documents, you will be fined a penalty of Rs. 5000.
One thing which has attracted the most attention to this new Motor Vehicles Act is the implementation of imprisonment for various serious violations of traffic rules and laws. Illegal racing and speeding which attracted a fine of Rs. 500 is now an offensive criminal act and can be punished with imprisonment for up to 3 months, and if you are found to repeat the offense plenty number of times, this imprisonment can be extended up to a year. Apart from this, if an offense is done by juveniles, the owner or the parent of the Juvenile will be considered guilty and will be fined with a penalty fee of Rs. 25000 and an added imprisonment for up to three years. The Juvenile, however, will be punished according to the Juvenile Justice Act and the papers and documents of the particular vehicle will be nullified and canceled for a period of a year.
So, to sum it up, you should always keep one thing in your mind; “Precaution is better than cure”. Thus, it is highly advised to check all your documents of the vehicle and follow the rules and traffic laws with strict attention in order to prevent a hole from getting burnt in your pocket.
Article by: Shuvam Majumdar