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Home > Legal Articles > Govt Agencies And Taxation > Traffic Rules Offences And Penalties Under Motor Vehicles Act 1988
 
Introduction
There has been an alarming rise in the number of Motor Vehicle accidents occurring everyday. Every individual be it a car driver, truck driver, a bus driver, a scooterist, a cyclist and a pedestrian owe a duty towards himself, the State and their family members to drive safely in order to safeguard themselves and others on the roads.

There are certain rules that have to be observed and strict penalties have been laid down for those who disobey them.


Essential Requirements to Drive A Motor Vehicle
ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS TO DRIVE A MOTOR VEHICLE

LICENCE
  1. The first essential for driving a vehicle is to have a valid driving licence.
  2. No person shall drive a motor vehicle in a public place unless he holds an effective driving licence and no person shall drive a transport vehicle other than a motor cab hired for his own use or rented, unless the driving licence specifically entitles to do so.
  3. A person applying for a licence for the first time will initially get a learner's licence and thereafter a permanent licence.
  4. Within six months, but not earlier than one month from the date of issue of the temporary licence, you can apply for a permanent licence.
  5. If you do not apply for a permanent licence within six months, your learner's licence will be automatically cancelled and you will have to appy for a fresh licence.
AGE LIMIT

A person under the age of 18 years is not allowed to drive a motor vehicle in any public place. However a person may drive a motor cycle with engine capacity not exceeding 50cc after attaining the age of sixteen years.

REGISTRATION

Registration of a motor vehicle is mandatory as no person is allowed to drive a vehicle unless it is duly registered. Every motor vehicle is to be registered with the registering authority in whose jurisdiction one resides or has a place of business.

INSURANCE

No person is allowed to use a motor vehicle, except as a passenger unless it is insured against third party risk. This entitles the victims of the road accident to secure payment of compensation awarded by the Claims Tribunal against he owner or the driver of the offending vehicle. The purpose of this insurance is not only for the protection of injured, i.e. the owner of the vehicle but it is equally helpful for the victims of the road victims of the road accidents to secure compensation from the insurance company. Earlier there was no privity of contract between the third party i.e. the injured and the insurance company. Now the victims of road accidents are entitled to make the insurance company a necessary party and demand compensation through the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal.

                                                                                
Duties & Responsibilities
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Every individual owes a duty of care to himself and to those around him, to obey and follow all traffic regulations to insure his own safety and of other commuters.

  1. No person shall drive a motor vehicle in any public place at a speed exceeding the maximum speed or below the minimum speed so fixed.
  2. Every driver shall drive in conformity with the indications given by the mandatory traffic signs.
  3. No person in charge of a motor vehicle shall cause or allow any vehicle or any trailer to be abandoned or to remain at rest on any public place in such a position or in such a condition or in such circumstances as is likely to cause danger, obstruction or undue inconvenience to other users of a public place or the passengers.
  4. No driver of a two-wheeled motor cycle shall carry more than one person in addition to himself on the motor cycle.
  5. Every person driving or riding (otherwise than in a side car, on a motor cycle of any class or description) shall, while in public place, wear protective headgear conforming to the standards of Bureau of Indian Standards:
However the above rule does not apply to a person who is a Sikh, if he is, while driving or riding on the motorcycle, in a public place, wearing a turban.

  1. The driver of a motor vehicle in any public place shall, on demand by any police officer in uniform, produce his licence for examination:
  2. However if the licence has been submitted to, or has been seized by, any officer or authority under this or any other Act, the driver may, produce in lieu of the licence a receipt or other acknowledgment issued by such officer or authority.
  3. When a driver is required to stop the vehicle by any police officer not below the rank of a Sub-inspector in uniform, in the event of the vehicle being involved in the occurrence of an accident to a person, animal or vehicle or of damage to property, the driver of a motor vehicle shall stop vehicle to stop and remain stationary so long as may for such reasonable time as may be necessary but not exceeding twenty-four hours.

Further he shall give his name and address and the name and address of the owner of the vehicle to any person affected by any such accident or damage, who demands it, provided such person also furnishes his name and address.

                                                                                
Penalities For Violation of Rules
PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF RULES

Keeping in mind the need to maintain road safety standards, pollution control measures and the need for effective ways for stopping traffic rules violations,
the Motor Vehicles Act has laid down stringent penalties for violation of traffic rules.

TRAVELLING WITHOUT TICKET OR PASS

If you travel in a stage carriage without having a proper pass or ticket or if you fail or refuse to present your ticket for examination you are liable to be punished with fine which may extend to 500 rupees.

ALLOWING UNAUTHORISED PERSONS TO DRIVE VEHCLES

If an owner of a vehicle or a person in charge of a motor vehicle permits any other person who does not have a licence or is below 18 years of age, to drive the vehicle, he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

DRIVING WITHOUT LICENCE

If you drive a motor vehicle without a licence or if you are not 18 years of age, you will be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three months, or with fine, which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

DRIVING WITHOUT VALID LICENCE

If you are disqualified under this Act for holding or obtaining a driving licence, and you drive a motor vehicle in a public of in any other place, or apply for or obtain a driving licence without disclosing the endorsement made on a driving licence previously held, you shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees or with both, and any driving licence obtained by you shall be of no effect.

Whoever, being disqualified under this Act for holding or obtaining a conductor's licence, acts as a conductor of a stage carriage in a public place or applies for or obtains conductor's licence or, not being entitled to have a conductor's licence issued to him free of endorsement, applies for or obtains a conductor's licence without disclosing the endorsements made on a conductor's licence previously held by him, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, or with both, and any conductor's licence so obtained by him shall be of no effect.

DRIVING AT EXCESSIVE SPEED

Driving a motor vehicle in contravention of the speed limits prescribed, is punishable with fine which may extend to four hundred rupees, or, if having been previously convicted of an offence under this sub-section with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.

However no person shall be convicted of the above offence solely on the evidence of one witness to the effect that in the opinion of the witness such person was driving at a speed, which was unlawful, unless that opinion is shown to be based on an estimate obtained by the use of some mechanical device.

DRIVING DANGEROUSLY

Whoever drives a motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner, which is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances of the case including the nature, condition and use of the place, where the vehicle is driven and the amount of traffic which actually is at the time or which might reasonably be expected to be in the place, shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, and

For any second or subsequent offence if committed within three years of the commission of a previous similar offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.

(Talking on Cellular phone while driving etc)

DRIVING BY A DRUNKEN PERSON OR BY A PERSON UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS.

Whoever, while driving, or attempting to drive, a motor vehicle, has, in his blood, alcohol exceeding 30 mg. per 100ml. of blood detected in a test by a breath analyzer, or is under the influence of a drug to such an extent as to be incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle, hall be punishable for the offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both;

For a second or subsequent offence, if committed within three years of the commission of the previous similar offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to three thousand rupees, or with both.

DRIVING WHEN MENTALLY OR PHYSICALLY UNFIT TO DRIVE

If you drive a motor vehicle in any public place when to your knowledge you suffer from any disease or disability calculated to cause driving of the vehicle to be a source of danger to the public, you shall be punishable for the first offence with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees and for a second or subsequent offence with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.

RACING AND TRIALS OF SPEED

Whoever without the written consent of the State Government permits or takes part in a race or trial of speed of any kind between motor vehicles in any public place shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with a fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

USING VEHICLE IN UNSAFE CONDITION

Any person who drives or allows to be driven in any public place a motor vehicle or trailer, having any defect, which renders the driving of the vehicle a source of danger to persons and vehicles using such place, shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred and fifty rupees or,

If as a result of such defect an accident is caused causing bodily injury or damage to property, such person shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three months, or with fine, which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Any person who drives or allows to be driven, in any public place a motor vehicle, which violates the standards prescribed in relation to road safety, control noise and air-pollution, shall be punishable for the first offence with a fine of one thousand rupees and for any second or subsequent offence with a fine of two thousand rupees.

Any person who drives or allows to be driven, in any public place a motor vehicle which violates the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder relating to the carriage of goods which are of dangerous or hazardous nature to human life, shall be punishable for the offence which may extend to three thousand rupees, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with both, and for any second or subsequent offence with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with both.

USING VEHICLES WITHOUT REGISTRATION

Whoever drives a motor vehicle or allows a unregistered motor vehicle to be used shall be punishable for the first offence with a fine which may extend to five thousand rupees but shall not be less than two thousand rupees for a second or subsequent offence with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees but shall not be less than five thousand rupees or with both:

However the above provision does not apply to the use of a motor vehicle in an emergency for the conveyance of persons suffering from sickness or injuries or for the transport of food or materials to relieve distress or of medical supplies for a like purpose, provided that the person using the vehicle reports about the same to the Regional Transport Authority within seven days from the date of such use.

DRIVING UNINSURED VEHICLE

Whoever drives a motor vehicle or causes or allows a motor vehicle to be driven an uninsured vehicle shall be punishable with imprisonment, which may extend to three months, or with fine, which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

TAKING VEHICLE WITHOUT AUTHORITY

Whoever takes and drive away any motor vehicle without having other the consent of the owner shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extent to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both:

However no person shall be convicted if the court is satisfied that such person acted in the reasonable belief that he had lawful authority or in the reasonable belief that the owner would in the circumstances of the case have given his consent if he had been asked therefore.

CAUSING OBSTRUCTION TO FREE FLOW OF TRAFFIC

Whoever keeps a disabled vehicle place, on any public, in such a manner, so as to cause impediment to the free flow of traffic, shall be liable for penalty up to fifty rupees per hour, so long as it remains in that position:

However a vehicle involved in accident shall be liable for penalty only from the time of completion of inspection formalities under the law:

Provided further that where the vehicle is removed by a Government agency, towing charges shall be recovered from the vehicle owner or person in-charge of such vehicle.

Keeping with the new methods adopted by the traffic police authorities "Challans" for violations of the above mentioned offences are also issued by post under section 133 of the Act.

                                                                                
Offences by Companies
OFFENCES BY COMPANIES

Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the contravention and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

However nothing shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, and it is proved that the offence was committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

                                                                                
Power to Arrest Without Warrant
POWER TO ARREST WITHOUT WARRANT
  1. A police officer in uniform may arrest without warrant any person who in his presence commits the following offences.
  2. Driving dangerously
  3. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  4. Takes away a vehicle without authority.
Where any person is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs he shall, within two hours of his arrest, be subjected to a medical examination by a registered medical practitioner failing which he shall be released from custody.

  1. A police officer in uniform may arrest without warrant any person, who has committed an offence under this Act, if such person refuses to give his name and address.
  2. A police officer arresting without warrant the driver of a motor vehicle shall if the circumstances so require take any steps he may consider proper for the temporary disposal of the vehicle.
  3. A police officer in uniform or an officer of the Motor Vehicles Department may require any person driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle in a public place to provide one or more specimens of breath for breath test there or nearby, if such police officer or officer has any reasonable cause to suspect him of having committed an offence driving while being drunk or under the influence of drugs

                                                                                
Power of Police Officer to Impound Document
POWER OF POLICE OFFICER TO IMPOUND DOCUMENT

  1. Any police officer or other person authorized in this behalf by the State Government may, if he has reason to believe that any identification mark carried on a motor vehicle or any licence, permit, certificate or registration, certificate of insurance or other document produced to him by the driver or person in charge of a motor vehicle is a false document, seize the mark or document and ask the driver or owner of the vehicle to account for his possession of or the presence in the vehicle of such mark or document.
  2. Any police officer or other person authorized in this behalf by the State Government may, if he has reason to believe that the driver of a motor vehicle who is charged with any offence under this Act may abscond or otherwise avoid the service of a summons, seize any licence held by such driver and forward it into the court taking cognizance of the offence and the said court shall on the first appearance of such driver before it, return the licence to him in exchange for the temporary acknowledgement given.
  3. A police officer or other person seizing a licence shall give to the person surrendering the licence a temporary acknowledgement thereof and such acknowledgement shall authorize the holder to drive until licence has been returned to him or until such date as may be specified by the police officer or other person in the acknowledgement, whichever is earlier;

Provided that if any Magistrate, police officer or other person authorized by the State Government in this behalf is, on an application made to him, satisfied that the licence cannot be, or has not been, returned to the holder thereof before the date specified in the acknowledgement for any reason for which the holder is not responsible, the Magistrate, police or other person, as the case may be, may extend the period of authorization to drive to such date as may be specified in the acknowledgement.

                                                                                
Power to Detain Vehicles Used Without Certificate of Registration, Permit etc.
POWER TO DETAIN VEHICLES USED WITHOUT CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION PERMIT ETC.

Any police officer or other person authorized in this behalf by the State Government may, if he has reason to believe that a motor vehicle has been or is being used without a valid licence or without registration or without the permit or in contravention of any condition of such permit relating to the route on which or the area in which or the purpose for which the vehicle may be used, seize and detain the vehicle.

Where a motor vehicle has been seized and detained the owner or person in charge of the motor vehicle may apply to the transport authority or any officer authorized in this behalf by the State Government together with the relevant documents for the release of the vehicle and such authority or officer may, after verification of such documents, by order release the vehicle subject to such conditions as the authority or officer may deem fit to impose.


 

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