Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019: Road safety legislation takes effect today; list of new traffic rules, penalties

  • As many as 63 clauses of the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act will be coming into effect from today

  • The Act proposes increase in penalties for for various traffic violations

  • Nitin Gadkari has pointed out in the past that roughly 1.5 lakh people were killed in road accidents every year in India

The Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019, which contains 63 provisions that deal with penalties, licenses, registration and the National Transport Policy, will be implemented from Sunday, 1 September 2019. These are provisions which require no further amendments in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989, reports said.

The new law will enhance the penalty for unauthorised use of vehicles without licence to Rs 5,000 from Rs 1,000. Besides, the penalty for driving without license will go up from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000.

The Act will also increase the penalty for drunken driving to imprisonment up to 6 months and/or fine up to Rs 10,000 for the first offence, and imprisonment up to 2 years and/or fine of Rs 15,000 for the second offence.

It enables state governments to designate any person or agency as the enforcement agency to detect and impose a penalty on overloaded vehicles. The legislation, introduced by Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 31 July and was passed in the Lok Sabha on 23 July.

 Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019: Road safety legislation takes effect today; list of new traffic rules, penalties

Representational image. AFP.

"The Act also proposes the recall of defective vehicle parts by auto companies, holding builders accountable for poor quality infrastructure and making vehicle owners criminally liable for violations committed by juvenile drivers", reported The Economic Times.

India Today quoted Gadkari as saying that "roughly 1.5 lakh people were killed in road accidents every year in India".

Reportedly, the government's objective is to improve road safety through the stringent penalties in the new legislation.

New fines under the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019

1. Penalty for drunken driving has been increased to 6 months imprisonment and/or Rs 10,000 fine for the first offence; two years imprisonment and/or fine of Rs 15,000 for second offence.

2. Penalty for racing and speeding has been increased to imprisonment of up to 1 month and/or fine up to Rs 500 for first offence; imprisonment of up to 1 month and/or fine of up to Rs 10,000 for second offence.

3. Penalty for travelling without ticket has been increased from up to Rs 200 to Rs 500.

4. Penalty for unauthorised use of vehicle without licence has been increased from up to Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.

5. Fine for individuals driving without licence has been increased from up to Rs 500 to Rs 5,000.

6. Fine for not wearing seatbelt has been increased from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000.

7. Fine for talking on a mobile phone while driving has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.

8. Penalty for drivers if found mentally or physically unfit for driving will be from up to Rs 200 to Rs 1,000 on the first count, from up to Rs 500 to Rs 2,000 on the second count.

9. Penalty for using vehicles without a permit has been increased to imprisonment of up to 6 months and/or fine of up to Rs 10,000 on the first offence; imprisonment of up to 1 year and/or fine of Rs 10,000 for the second offence.

10. Individuals driving uninsured vehicles will be fined either Rs 1,000 and/or punishment up to 3 months or Rs 2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months for first offence; the fine will be Rs 4,000 and/or 3 months imprisonment for the second offence.

11. Punishment for juveniles for offences will include Rs 25,000 and imprisonment up to 3 years and cancellation of registration of motor vehicle for 12 months. The juvenile will also become ineligible to obtain learners' license until the age of 25 years.

12. If a juvenile uses a motor vehicle in violation of the newly inserted Section 199A, then the registration of the vehicle might be cancelled for a year. After a year, a fresh application for registration will be allowed to be submitted.

New rules and provisions of the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act, 2019

1. Aadhaar card has been made mandatory for getting a driving licence and vehicle registration.

2. Applicants of learner's licence can now apply to any licencing authority in the state and submit the application online. The minimum educational qualification to drive a transport vehicle has been removed.

3. Driving licence-holders can apply for renewal any time between one year before its expiry up to one year after expiry. Applying for renewal after one year from the date of expiry of driving license, will require the applicant to pass the driving test again.

4. In case of hit-and-run, the compensation amount provided by the government has been to the victim’s family has been increased from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2 lakh.

5. In case of traffic violations by juveniles, he or she will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act, and the registration of the concerned vehicle will be cancelled, reports said. Additionally, the owner of the vehicle, or the guardian of the juvenile will be held responsible "unless they prove that the offence was committed without their knowledge or they had tried to prevent it".

6. The Act has provisions for the protection of those who come forward to help accident victims. Reportedly, they will be protected from criminal or civil liability and "it will be optional for them to disclose their identity to the police or medical staff".

7. A Motor Vehicle Fund will provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in the country for certain type of accidents, and it to make cars suitable for differently-abled people will be mandatory.

8. Contractors, consultants and civic agencies will be accountable for faulty design, construction or poor maintenance of roads leading to accidents.

9. With regard to road accidents, a time limit of six months have been specified for submitting the application for compensation to the Claims Tribunal.

Last year in a survey conducted by the Consumer Voice, it was observed that 96 percent of the consumers believed that passage of the legislation will help meet the UN mandate to reduce road accidents up to 50 percent by 2020.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Sep 01, 2019 13:21:52 IST