Motor Vehicles Act of India: Radical Changes Are in the Offing

The proposed amendments introducing stringent punishments in the Motor Vehicles Act of India as approved by the Indian cabinet recently are to curb or reduce reckless driving, drunken driving, using mobile phones while driving, failure to observe and foll

More concerned  over the ever increasing number of motor vehicle accidents and the number of victims as well, the Indian cabinet has taken the timely decision of bringing about radical changes in the Motor Vehicles Act by way of amendments.

Reckless driving, drunken driving, using mobile phones while driving, failure to observe and follow the traffic rules, failure to use safety devices during driving etc are the main causes for the significant increase in the motor vehicle accidents that result in thousands of deaths and grievous injuries leading to permanent disability.

Perhaps taking the cue from the western countries, in particular US, where the DUI laws have become very popular in various states in controlling drunken driving cases, the Indian Government has decided to introduce very stringent provisions in the traffic laws so as to reduce the number of motor vehicle accident victims. Some of them are actually interesting and worth trying too. But some of them offer very harsh punishments as follows:

  • Those who transgress the red signals for the first time may have to pay a fine amount varying between Rs 100 and Rs 500.But if they commit the same mistake for the second time may have to pay a fine amount varying between Rs 300 and 1,500.
  • Rash driving or reckless driving for the first time may invite a fine amount varying between Rs 400 and Rs 1000.But if the same mistake is repeated, it may invite a fine amount of Rs 2000 to Rs 5000. Presently it is Rs 1000.
  • Failure to wear your safety belt while driving a car or failure to wear a helmet while driving a two wheeler may lead to a fine of Rs 500 for the first time. If the same mistake is repeated for the second time, you are liable to pay a fine of Rs 1,500.
  • Drunken driving is dealt with more severely and of course scientifically. In the US states, the BAC of a drunken driver should not exceed 0.08%.Whereas, the proposed Indian Drunken driving cases stipulate a BAC of 0.3 % and ascertaining it through a medical test.But if the BAC of a drunken driver varies between  three and six percent, you are liable to be punished  with 6 months imprisonment or with a fine of Rs 2,000 or with both.If your blood alcohol content level is between six and one point five percent you are liable to be punished with imprisonment up to one year or a fine amount of Rs 4,000 or both. If drunken driving offense is committed within 3 years of the previous offense, you may get 3 years imprisonment or a fine of Rs 8,000 or with both. If the BAC level exceeds 1.5 %, it may invite harsher punishments such as  2 years imprisonment  or a fine of Rs 5,000.If the same offense is repeated for the second time within three years of the first offense, the offender may have to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 along with 6 months imprisonment. In addition to that the culprit’s driving license will be permanently cancelled.
  • Speaking over the mobile phone while driving your vehicle is considered as a serious offense that may invite a fine amount of Rs 500 and those who repeat the offense may have to pay a fine amount varying between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000.Speaking over the mobile phone, sending SMSs, sending pictures through mobile phone while driving a vehicle are punishable offenses.
  • Driving a vehicle which is highly risky and dangerous is also considered as an offense, inviting punishments up to 6 months imprisonment or a fine of Rs 1000 or with both.If the same offense is repeated, you will have more severe punishments such as paying a fine of Rs 2000 to Rs 5000 or 2 years imprisonment or with both.
  • The compensation amount to be awarded to the victims of Motor Vehicle Accidents is to be increased by Rs 100000 for fatal cases and by Rs 50,000 for grievous injuries.

Thus the proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act of India are significant with the ultimate purpose of reducing accidents besides ensuring the safety of the individuals concerned.  

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Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
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Posted on Mar 6, 2012
Ron Siojo
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Posted on Mar 6, 2012