If you fancy yourself a wrong-side-of-the-road Romeo, this September is the month to mend your ways. Why seek redemption from reckless driving? If saving others from injury isn’t enough to convince you, perhaps saving your skin and money will. The changes to the Motor Vehicles Act, effective by September 1, witnesses’ fines and penalties pumped up. Here is a gist of what’s in store…
Driving Without License
Whether you’ve left your wallet at home or completely forgot the 20-year use-by date of your ticket to ride, it’s no longer a Rs. 500 misdemeanour. Get ready to shell out Rs. 5,000 if you are caught without your driver’s license!
Racing & Speeding
Fans of The Fast And Furious series will need to lay off the throttle or risk jail time of up to one month with fines of up to Rs. 10,000. That’s enough dough to cover your (Vin) diesel bill for months!
Joyriding with your buddies? Make sure you keep your eyes on the road amidst all the fun. A charge of dangerous driving now sees the imprisonment of six months to one year, with fines ranging from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000. And that’s for offence no. 1. Get caught twice – shame on you, with a prison sentence of up to two years and fines up to Rs. 10,000.
Getting tipsy can be a hoot but driving drunk is no laughing matter. The penalties are enough to sober you up to calling a cab home. Punishments include a six months prison stay with fines of up to Rs. 10,000 for strike one, with up to two years in jail and fines of Rs. 15,000 for strike two.
Causing Obstruction To Free Flow Of Traffic
As an Indian, indignantly making a scene in the middle of the road may seem like a basic human right and, with a mere fifty bucks fine, one that has great VFM. Not anymore. Today, holding up traffic while you catch your roadside rival by the collar will leave you short of Rs. 500.
Driving Uninsured Vehicle
Forgot your insurance premium, again? From now on, driving without insurance could land you in jail for up to three months with fines up to Rs. 2,000. Repeat offenders could face up to three months of jail time with fines of up to Rs. 4,000.
Penalty For Offenses Where No Penalty Is Specifically Provided
Don’t know what you did wrong? Let the traffic police tell you – while fining you, of course. What was previously a Rs. 100 fine for the first offence and Rs 300 for serial offences, is now Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,500, respectively.
Violation Of Road Regulations
Better keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel. Violate any road regulations and you’ll now be fined Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000.
Travelling Without Ticket
Can’t find something? No point in making excuses. Get ready to shell out Rs. 500 for no ticket. That’s 300 bucks more than what you’d have previously paid.
Disobedience Of Orders Of Authority And Refusal To Share Information
From now on, backtalk to a traffic cop will cost you – Rs. 2,000 to be precise. That’s enough for us to keep our mouths shut when pulled over.
Unauthorised Use Of Vehicles Without License
Well, you should know better, but, if you don’t, beware that the fine has gone up from Rs. 1,000 to a whopping Rs. 5,000.
Driving Despite Disqualification
If you’ve been in trouble with the traffic police recently and are disqualified from driving, getting caught can make a huge dent in your wallet – Rs. 10,000.
Where the previous fine was just Rs. 400, speeding over the limit is now being fined in the thousands. Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000 for a light motor vehicle, Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000 for a medium passenger or goods vehicles and impounding of driving license for further offences.
Driving When Mentally Or Physically Unfit To Drive
Those who aren’t fit to drive but still get behind the wheel will be fined Rs. 1,000 on their first offence and Rs. 2,000 on repeat offences.
Offences Relating To Accident
If you’ve been naughty and caused an accident you could go to jail. The punishment is imprisonment of up to six months and you could be fined up to Rs. 5,000 on your first offence. Subsequent offences can see you imprisoned for up to one year with fines of up to Rs. 10,000.
Taking Vehicle Without Lawful Authority And Seizing Motor Vehicle By Force
Initially, a ridiculously low Rs. 500 fine for the offence, joyriding without proper permissions can set you back Rs. 5,000 from September.
Wearing a seatbelt now mandatory for passengers in the backseat
It doesn’t matter if you failed to call shotgun while getting into a car because now even backseat passengers (14 or above), like front-seat passengers, will have to wear a seatbelt. Failure to do will result in a fine of Rs. 1000!
Given the state of the roads and the #ChaltaHai attitudes of drivers and riders in India, the new motor vehicles act brings welcome changes for the majority of commuters towards the #RoadToSafety. After all, practising caution on the road isn’t about obeying rules for fear of getting caught and penalised, it’s about making the streets a safer place with fewer accidents and greater respect for commuters and pedestrians alike.
Date: September 19, 2019