Motor Vehicles Act (MVA), 1988

Almost all features of road transport vehicles are mentioned in detail in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 which is an Act of the Parliament of India. The Act has been effective since July 1st, 1989. It is preceded by Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 and Motor Vehicles Act, 1914. All the laws relating to licensing of conductors /drivers, control of motor vehicles through permit, insurance, registration of motor vehicles, traffic regulation, liability, penalties, offences and much more are detailed in the Act. The Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 was put into place by the Government of India to exercise the legislative provisions of the Act. The Act is imposed throughout India.

Traffic Penalties Under Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill - 2016

It is of utmost importance that people follow the traffic rules. These rules are made for their safety on the road. Following these rules helps in better traffic management. Under the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill, 2016, several new amendments have been proposed that has increased the penalties for violating traffic rules. The table below lists the penalties for traffic rules violations.

Section Old Provision / Penalty New Proposed Provision / Minimum Penalties
177 General Rs 100 Rs 500
New 177 A Rules of road regulation violation Rs 100 Rs 500
178 Travel without ticket Rs 200 Rs 500
179 Disobedience of orders of authorities Rs 500 Rs 2,000
180 Unauthorized use of vehicles without licence Rs 1,000 Rs 5,000
181 Driving without licence Rs 500 Rs 5,000
182 Driving despite disqualification Rs 500 Rs 10,000
182 B Oversize Vehicles New Rs 5,000
183 Over speeding Rs 400 Rs 1,000 for LMV Rs 2,000 for Medium passenger vehicle
184 Dangerous driving penalty Rs 1,000 Up to Rs 5,000
185 Drunken Driving Rs 2,000 Rs 10,000
189 Speeding / Racing Rs 500 Rs 5,000
192 A Vehicle without permit Up to Rs 5,000 Up to Rs 10,000
193 Aggregators (violations of licencing conditions) New Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,00,000
194 Overloading Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 per extra tonne Rs 20,000 and Rs 2,000 per extra tonne
194 A Overloading of passengers Rs 1,000 per extra passenger
194 B Seat belt Rs 100 Rs 1,000
194 C Overloading of two wheelers Rs 100 Rs 2,000, Disqualification for 3 months for licence
194 D Helmets Rs 100 Rs 1,000, Disqualification for 3 months for licence
194 E Not providing way for emergency vehicles New Rs 10,000
196 Driving without insurance Rs 1,000 Rs 2,000
199 Offences by Juveniles New Guardian / owner shall be deemed guilty. Rs 25,000 with 3 years’ imprisonment. For Juvenile to be tried under law.
Hit and Run Compensation Rs 2,00,000 or Rs 10,00,000 in case of fatality
Travel without ticket Rs 500
Offences by Enforcing Officers Twice the penalty

New Additions to Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

  1. Riding without a helmet, speeding, rash driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol, using mobile phone while driving or riding and speeding could result in a suspension of the offender’s driving licence on-the-spot.
  2. Motorists who are involved in a crash and fail to take the crash victims to the nearest hospital in cases where there is no mob fury would be fined Rs. 2, 000 or could face a jail term of up to 6 months.
  3. First time offenders will face fines of up to Rs. 5, 000 or up to 6 months in jail for offences falling under the purview of the Motor Vehicles Act. Subsequent offences will result in fines of up to Rs. 10, 000 or 2 years in jail.
  4. Driving or riding without valid car or two wheeler insurance would result in a fine of Rs. 2, 000 and 3 months in jail. Subsequent offences would result in a fine of Rs. 4, 000. Victims of a car crash by an uninsured vehicle would be liable to receive compensation from the owner of the vehicle.
  5. A fine of Rs. 5, 000 up to Rs. 1 lakh will be levied on individuals, dealers or car body builders who interfere with the construction and maintenance of vehicles.

Note: The additions were made in 2016 and will come into effect shortly.

Some of the important sections in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

Section 113: This section enforces the law regarding the weight that’s permitted to be carried by a vehicle.

Section 112: This section imposes the law regarding the maximum speed at which a motor vehicle can be driven.

Section 129: The section which imposes the law of motor cyclists having to wear helmet while riding.

Section 134: This section deals with the duty of a driver of a vehicle to report an accident to the police and aid the injured by getting medical attention.

Section 185: This section refers to the law which forbids drivers to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Some of the Common Offences Committed by Drivers on the Road

  • Not having a valid licence on the driver while driving a motor vehicle. The fine can be between Rs. 100 and Rs. 300.
  • Driving-Licence
  • Driving on a road that is one-way in the opposite direction is against the law. The First Offence will infer a fine from Rs. 100- 300.
  • Overtaking vehicles in a dangerous manner. Fines can be between Rs. 100 and Rs. 300
  • Driving through a signal which is red is an offence which can be fined Rs. 100 for the first offence and up to Rs. 300 for subsequent offence.
  • Driving the vehicle on the footpath is breaking the law. A fine of Rs. 100 to Rs. 300 may be imposed.
  • It is against the law to stop the vehicle at a Pedestrian Crossing/ Crossing Stop Line. Breaking this law could lead to a fine of anything from Rs. 100 (for first offence) up to Rs. 300.
  • Parking violations can be fined from Rs. 100 to Rs. 300
  • Number Plate Offences can be fined Rs. 100-300
  • Horn offences can be charged a fine of Rs. 100 for first offence and up to Rs. 300 for subsequent offence.
  • Headlights used in an improper manner can result in a fine from Rs. 100 for first time offence and Subsequent Offence of up to Rs. 300.
  • If an Excess Fare is charged, a fine of between Rs. 100 for first offence and Rs. 300 for subsequent offence will be charged.
  • Riders of two wheelers who do not wear helmet while riding may be charged a fine of up to Rs. 100 for first offence and up to Rs. 300 for subsequent offence.
  • According to the Act, any misbehaviour with passengers of the vehicle will be fined between Rs. 100 and Rs. 300
  • Not having the necessary documents as required by law will infer a fine of Rs. 100 to Rs. 300.
  • Cutting lanes in a dangerous manner can infer a fine of Rs. 100 - 300
  • If the driver of the vehicle refuses to ply for hire, he/she can be fined up to Rs. 100 for first offence and up to Rs. 300 for subsequent offence.
  • The law describes certain goods as hazardous to be carried by vehicles. If this is breached fine of up to Rs. 100 will be charged for first offence and up to Rs. 300 for subsequent offence.
  • Accidental Offences will be charged a fine of up to Rs. 500 or imprisonment up to 3 months or both for the first offence. Subsequent offence will be fined up to Rs. 1000 or imprisonment up to 6 months or both.
  • If Mobile Phones are used while driving, the driver may be charged up to Rs. 100 for first offence and up to Rs. 300 for subsequent offence.
  • If a driver breaches order and refuses to give information to the authorities, he/she may be charged with a fine of up to Rs 500 or be imprisoned up to 1 month (or both).
  • If a person with a licence allows someone without a valid licence to drive the vehicle, then the first person will be charged a fine up to Rs 1000 or will be imprisoned for up to 3 months or both.
  • A fine of up to Rs. 1000 for first offence and up to Rs. 2000 may be charged for those drivers who drive in a dangerous/reckless manner. The driver may be fined, imprisoned (for up to 6 months- 2 years) or both.
  • The act of driving a vehicle without valid licence is breaking the law. A fine of up to Rs 500 can be charged, the individual can be imprisoned for up to 3 months or both.
  • Any offence relating to driving licence can be charged a fine of up to Rs 500, imprisoned for up to 3 months or both.
  • The Act states that driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is punishable by law. Breaking this law for the first time will result in a fine of up to Rs. 2000 or imprisonment up to 6 months or both. If the offence is repeated, they shall be fined up to Rs. 3000 or imprisoned up to 2 years or both.
  • It is expected by law, according to 182(A), that the vehicle is maintained to a basic degree. If this law is broken, a fine of Rs. 1000 may be charged for First Offence and Rs. 5000 for subsequent offence.
  • A fine of Rs. 400 – 1000 will be charged for those exceeding the speed limit as mentioned in MVA: 112


News About Motor Vehicles Act

  • Important Update: Validity of Expiring Motor Vehicle Documents Extended till 30 September

    If your motor vehicle documents like registration certificate or driving licence are about to expire or have already expired, you don’t have to worry. The government has passed a new order wherein the validity of all documents has been extended till 30 September. Amidst COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, many people were unable to renew their documents. For this reason, the government has decided to extend the validity of documents. Therefore, documents which expired on 1 February 2020 will be valid till 30 September 2021. Uttar Pradesh (UP) is one among the several states that have started issuing new driving licences.

    13 September 2021

  • Drivers to pay more fines due to the introduction of Motor Vehicle Act, 2018

    There will be an increase in the fines paid by drivers due to the introduction of Motor Vehicle Act, 2018. The government believes this initiative will help enhance the concept of road safety. The money collected via the fines by riders will help the government set up CCTV cameras on many traffic signals, speed guns on highways  and other equipments that will help them identify the traffic rule defaulters. With the setting up equipments the government is hoping to ensure that the number of traffic offenders will decrease.

    Some of the new fines introduced by the transport department under the new Motor Vehicle Act, 2018 include speeding which will result in fine of Rs.1000, not wearing a helmet which will result in a fine of Rs.1000 as well , triple seat riding which will cost the offender Rs.2000, driving without seat belt which will empty the offender’s pocket by Rs.1000, drink and drive offence which will cost a hefty sum of Rs.10000 and possible jail offence and racing on roads which can also lead to jail term.      

    9 July 2018

  • Hyderabad Traffic Police plans to launch a point-based penalty system for traffic violators

    In a bid to reduce increasing road accidents, traffic congestion, and various type of traffic violations, the Hyderabad Traffic Police is all set to introduce a point based penalty system. Under this scheme, the traffic violators will attract point-based penalty points based on the type of traffic violation. Once the motorist gains more than 12 points, his/her driver’s licence will be suspended for a period of 1 year. During the suspension period, if the motorist gets himself/herself involved in other traffic violation, the accumulation of further 12 points will add another year on suspension on the driving licence. However, the motorist will be provided with an option to reduce his/her points through special programs which aim at educating the motorist on defensive training and accident prevention courses. The programs will be available at specific institutions which are recognized by the local transport authority

    18 August 2017

  • Accident victims not receiving compensation

    Many residents injured in road accidents at Bathinda have not been provided the compensation that they are entitled to under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.

    As per rules, compensation, also referred to as the Solatium Fund, should be given within a six month period to the victim or kiln.

    As many as 19 cases are still pending before the district administration. Those who do get compensation, have got it after more than 2 years.

    19 June 2017

  • New Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill gets tech savvy

    The new Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2017 has seen a number of technological advancements to further streamline the process of application for a license and registration of vehicles. The new system will allow users to apply for a Learner’s License online and link their Driving License to their Vehicle Registration Certificate via an Aadhaar-based platform. The government will create a nationwide register for Driving Licenses and vehicle registrations which will be available across the country, this new register will help in reducing the duplication of licenses and the registration of stolen vehicles. On approval of the bill in Parliament, vehicle dealer will be allowed to register vehicles through an all-India electronic register. The bill aims to provide 100% e-governance in the transport sector by using an Aadhaar-based system to authenticate a person’s license. The bill has identified key areas for improving road safety, and have introduced more stringent fines and penalties for traffic violations.

    12 April 2017

  • Online payment temporarily disabled by RTO

    Online payment for the driving licence has been temporarily disabled at the Regional Transport Office in Indore. This has been done after the amendments in the Central Motor Vehicles Rule.

    This is the 22nd amendment that has happened to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules. Fees for fitness tests have also been introduced with this amendment. As per one of the regional transport officers, they only received the circular on Friday. The revised data is still being uploaded on the server so that people can apply under the new fee list, henceforth. Thus, the online payment option has been temporarily stopped. Fees for DL, LL, etc. where last increased in 1989. The Government changed the fee structure for the first time after 1989. So, it seems that the hike in fees is a lot.

    Currently, manual receipts have been made so that fee payment can be done. The learner’s licence fee has gone up to Rs.150. It was only Rs.30 before the amendment. The driving test fee is an additional Rs.50. This fee has been introduced with this amendment and it was not there previously. A driver’s licence will now cost Rs.700 which was Rs.250 previously.

    19 January 2017

  • The state government has stopped the registration of e-rickshaws in 5 districts

    The state government had earlier launched the registration of eco-friendly rickshaws to replace cycle rickshaws. Maharashtra Transport Minister, Diwakar Raote said that as per the central government rules, e-rickshaws and e-carts are listed under a separate category of the Motor Vehicles Act, and are promoted for replacing manual laboured rickshaws. Since e-rickshaws should be registered in the name of those pulling cycle rickshaws in the city, the transport department was directed to obtain the registration data of cycle rickshaws from the City Police Commissionerate. Though the guidelines for e-rickshaws clearly state that the vehicles will operate only on internal lanes, many are operating on main roads as well. Officials estimated that around 1,000 e-rickshaws are being driven illegally in the city. Meanwhile, a delegation of Maharashtra E-rickshaw Sanghatana have appealed to ease the registration process for battery-operated vehicles and dedicated stands, and minimise the registration fees.

    5 January 2017

  • Chandigarh Traffic Police Urges Punishment For Violators

    The Chandigarh traffic police recently wrote to the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), requesting strict punishment for drunken drivers. They have requested for the imprisonment of drunken drivers as per the Motor Vehicles Act, which proposes up to 6 months of imprisonment for first time offenders and up to 2 years for repeat offenders. Inspector Paramjit Kaur Sekhon who is the Traffic in-charge mentioned that the traffic police has confiscated nearly 280 driving licences for a variety of offences such as use of mobile phone while driving, speeding and not wearing a seat belt.

    In the letter to the CJM, the traffic police officials have urged for the imposition of fines for violation of traffic rules. They had also asked for the suspension of licenses for a minimum period of three months in cases of overloading, over-speeding, drunken driving and use of mobile phones while driving.

    9 December 2016

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