The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 has several regulations that govern traffic in India. One of the many regulations of the Act is the Two Wheeler Act, 1988. It calls for the regulation of traffic on roads, particularly with regard to two-wheelers. Over the years, the act has been amended multiple times, the most recent being in the year 2018. The new amendments to the act have been brought into effect from April 1, 2022. The amendment includes, among other things, new rules for licensing and operation of two-wheelers in India.
Let's look at some of them in detail.
1. Anyone riding a motorcycle or scooter, whether they are the driver or a passenger, shall be required to wear a helmet at all times.
This law aims to cut down on the number of people who get head injuries in bike accidents. In the case of a collision, severe head injuries may be avoided by both the rider and the passenger on the motorcycle if they both wear helmets.
2. It will be against the law to use a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle.
The use of mobile phones while operating a motor vehicle is one of the leading causes of accidents on the road. Using mobile phones while driving should be prohibited to minimise the number of accidents that occur.
3. While operating a motor vehicle, drivers must provide a driving licence and registration certificate that are both in good standing.
This regulation aims to ensure that the only people legally permitted to drive on the road are those who have obtained the appropriate licences and registered their bikes. This will assist in limiting the number of accidents caused by drivers who do not have licences or are not registered.
4. All motor vehicles must have high-security licence plates installed on their windshields.
The purpose of this regulation is to cut down on the number of thefts of motor vehicles. It will be more difficult for criminals to steal automobiles if they are required to display high-security licence plates.
5. Motorists will not be permitted to use motor vehicles that do not have current insurance coverage.
This regulation aims to ensure that only bikes with enough insurance coverage are permitted to be driven on public roads. This will assist in limiting the number of accidents brought on by drivers who do not have bike insurance.
Key Changes in Penalty
- A new invoice or penalty will be issued for general violations. This could be for things such as not following traffic regulations, driving without a licence, or overloading. The penalty can range from INR 500 to INR 2000.
- If someone is caught violating red regulation rules, they may be issued an INR 500 penalty. These rules deal with things like driving too fast or recklessly.
- If someone disobeys an authority order, they may be charged with an INR 2000 fine. This could happen if an officer tells someone to stop driving, but they instead drive away. Alternatively, it could apply to situations where someone is asked to produce their driving licence but instead tries to run away. In either case, their licence will be revoked for three months, and they may also face jail time if convicted.
- One of the most common penalties handed out by law enforcement is for driving without a licence - this offence can carry a fine of up to INR 5000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months. It's important to note that this applies only when somebody is driving without a valid driver's licence - if they have a valid driver's licence and are using it legally, then there is no punishable offence committed and no need for authorities to take any action against them. If you're caught driving while your driver's licence has been suspended or revoked, the fine could increase tenfold, and you could face up to two years in prison. Certain offences will automatically result in your driver's licence being revoked: speeding (at over 20 km/h above the limit), reckless driving (which includes endangerment), etc.
- Not wearing a helmet while driving can result in a fine of INR 1000 and/or losing your driver's licence for three months. This law is meant to protect both you and other drivers on the road - not wearing a helmet can cause serious brain injuries if you're involved in an accident.
- If you disobey an officer's request to stop driving or to produce your driver's licence, you may be charged an INR 10,000 fine. In some cases, officers may also be allowed to use force if necessary to apprehend someone for these offences. If you're found guilty of this offence, your driver's licence will be revoked, and you could face up to two years in prison.
- Crimes committed by enforcement of authority (such as driving while intoxicated) can result in fines twice the amount of the original offence and imprisonment for up to two years. In addition, if you're caught driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and cause a serious accident, you could be subject to even harsher penalties
These are just some of the proposed changes in the new traffic rules. For a complete list of the proposed changes, you can visit the official website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
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