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Fine for not wearing a seat belt while driving

Posted by Royal Sundaram on 06 Mar 2020

India is the second most populated country in the world with a high density of traffic prevailing on its roads. These extremely congested roads result in a lot of accidents. According to the 2018 Global Status Report on road safety by WHO, it is estimated that more than 2,99,000 people are killed in road accidents in India. Because of these high statistics, the World Health Organization (WHO) is now reviewing laws and regulations for enhancing road safety in the country.


The question of safety on Indian roads has always lingered around. Driving in India was never easy and has always been considered dangerous. The matter is escalating from bad to worse with an exponential rise in traffic density. As per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the number of fatalities in road accidents has increased from 1,46,133 lakh in 2015 to 1,47,913 in 2017.


This increasing trend in the number of accidental road deaths calls for the implementation of comprehensive legislation in the country. Thus, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act was passed by the parliamentary bodies Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in 2019. This Act is an amendment made to the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 and was passed to promote safe driving practices among motor vehicle drivers. As part of the amendment, rigid fines have been introduced with regard to traffic rule violations.


Driving with no seat belt fine: Now and Then


One such traffic safety violation is when motorists do not put on their seat belts while driving. Apart from ensuring the safety of others, as responsible citizens, it is also our duty to ensure our own safety. Seat belts are designed to protect drivers from potential impacts during road accidents, and their use is mandatory as per law. Driving without a seat belt now amounts to traffic safety violation for which violators can be fined.


The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act has increased the penalty for not wearing seat belt from Rs. 100 to Rs. 1,000 in India. An increased fine is likely to instill fear in drivers, and positively reduce the number of deaths in road accidents.


Some facts on seat belt trends in India


  1. * In India, it is only mandatory for the driver and the co-driver in the front seats to wear seat belts. Surprisingly there is no such law for passengers in the rear seats.
  2. * According to a survey conducted, nearly 40 percent of people thought wearing seat belts can hamper their smartness!
  3. * In the same survey, it was found that several people didn’t even know how to strap on a seat belt properly.
  4. * The survey also found that younger people tend to avoid wearing seat belts.

As a result, the Indian government found it necessary to increase the fine for not wearing seat belts.


Motor vehicle insurance in India


With the rise in traffic accidents in India, bike and car insurances have become a necessity.  These insurance cover your vehicles from potential damage that they may sustain during accidents.


Vehicle insurance is now compulsory by law in India. Not having car or bike insurance can amount to a fine as part of the 2019 Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act. The fine was further increased to Rs. 2,000 from Rs. 1,000 as per the amended bill.


Know Your RTO Address and Services


RTO or Regional Transport Office is an Indian governmental organization which maintains a database of all motor vehicles. Regional RTO offices have been established in every city and state in the country.


The major services provided by the RTO include:


  1. * Providing registration for motor vehicles
  2. * Providing re-registration
  3. * Ownership transfer of vehicles
  4. * Issuing of driving licenses
  5. * Collection of road tax
  6. * Inspection of vehicle insurance
  7. * Providing pollution test clearance
  8. * Granting fitness certificates for transport vehicles


Every state in India has its own RTO code. For example, for Punjab it is “PB,” for West Bengal it is “WB,” for Uttar Pradesh it is “UP,” for Tamil Nadu it is “TN,” etc.


RTO Forms


Some of the RTO forms include:


  1. * Form 20 — for motor vehicle registration application
  2. * Form 29 — for ownership transfer
  3. * Form 51 – for obtaining an insurance certificate
  4. * Form 54 – report of accident information
  5. * Form 23 – for obtaining a certificate of registration
  6. * Form 24 – for registration of the motor vehicle
  7. * Form 50 – Bill of lading
  8. * Form 21 – Sale certificate
  9. * Form 38A – Vehicle Inspection report
  10. * Form 57 – Foreign Insurance certificate


Process for vehicle registration


  1. * Visit the RTO office with required forms and documents, including xerox copies of the documents.
  2. * Carry the payable road tax demand draft.
  3. * Submit the registration form and pay the required fees.
  4. * The vehicle number is assigned on completion of the process.


The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in India has launched services like “Vahan” and “mParivahan” so that motor vehicle owners can check their vehicles’ registration details online. It is advisable for motorists to download these apps and visit official government RTO websites from time to time to keep themselves updated about local RTOs and their services.


It is also important for vehicle owners to know their local RTO address to avoid any inconvenience on matters pertaining to their vehicles.

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