Rs 5000 Fine For Speaking On Phone While Driving; Rs 25,000 Fine & Jail For Parents Of Minor Drivers?

There is some bad news for traffic offenders in India: Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill has been cleared by the Cabinet, and the new rules are pretty strict.

Here are the major updates to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, which every vehicle in India should be aware of:

  • If you are caught while speaking on the phone while driving, then you need to shell out Rs 5000 as a penalty. This was Rs 1000 earlier, and this means that the penalty has been increased by 5-times. There is no mention of texting while driving, and it seems that it would be the call of the traffic cop who catches you.
  • If you are driving, and you are drunk or drinking while driving, then you will need to pay a penalty of Rs 10,000. Earlier, and in existing Motor Vehicles Act, the penalty for drunk driving is Rs 2000. Hence, an increase of 5X has been done for drunk driving, which is fairly reasonable. Every 4 minutes there is a death due to road accidents, and alcohol has been found to be a major reason for such incidents.
  • If your minor son/daughter is caught driving, then you will need to shell out Rs 25,000 fine and also serve 3 years in jail for this offense. In the existing Motor Vehicles Act, there is no such penalty for this offense. This is a major add-on in the bill, and can impact lots of parents. Note here, that 16-18 year olds can get a license for 100CC or lesser bikes as of now.
  • Aggregators or repeat offenders of traffic rules will now need to shell out Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh penalty, depending on the number of times they have broken the law. In the existing rules of Motor Act, there is no such provision for this offense.
  • If you are caught over-speeding, then currently there is a fine of only Rs 400. This has been increased to Rs 1000 for light motor vehicles, and Rs 2000 for medium passenger vehicles. 
  • If you are caught jumping red light, then there exists a penalty of just Rs 100 to Rs 300, which will now become Rs 1000.
  • If you are driving without a license, then you will need to shell out Rs 5000 penalty, which is currently only Rs 500.
  • Besides, one very big update: Ola and Uber vehicles will now come under the ambit of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, which was not the case earlier.
  • The bill also proposes compensation of Rs 5 lakh for victims of fatal accidents, within 4-months of the accident.
  • Govt. officials will need to pay double of the fines, if caught, under the new rules.

Since the cabinet has approved these amendments, Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will present the bill in the on-going session of Parliament, under 17th Lok Sabha.

Some provisions of the new rules are being opposed by parties such as Congress, DMK, AIADMK and CPI(M).

We will keep you updated, as we receive fresh information.

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