Heavier Penalty For Driving Beyond The Permissible Speed Limit

Heavier Penalty For Driving Beyond The Permissible Speed Limit

To improve road safety and enforce the traffic rules and regulations, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways introduced a new amendment to the existing Motor Vehicles Act. Among the many notable changes to the Motor Vehicle Act is a fine amounting to 10,000 INR towards defaulters who wilfully obstruct the passage of emergency vehicles like an ambulance or fire engine on the road.


The proposals had been put forward by transport ministers from 18 states in India and were evaluated by the parliamentary standing committee. The much-sought reform on the thirty-year-old traffic laws will bring severe penalties for those driving with a suspended license, driving beyond the permissible limit, or without a seatbelt or a helmet.


Such penalties will range across offences like drunken driving, dangerous driving, unauthorised driving, and overloading. Online cab companies or taxi aggregators caught violating driving licences can further be fined up to 1 lakh INR under the new bill.


Under previous rules, the system was heavily corrupt mostly due to high dependence on cash transactions. The transport ministry plans to decry and do away this by computerising and automating the entire system using technology. The much-required reforms are being welcomed by citizens.


Driving Beyond Speed Fine - Now & Then


As per the administration, tougher and higher penalties have been imposed in the interest of the general public. It is anticipated that higher fines will lead to citizens being more disciplined and careful on the roads. Cautiousness and awareness in people would help avoid negligence and reduce the number of road mishaps and bring down the number of deaths caused due to road accidents.


Driving recklessly or while intoxicated is a serious offence and is extremely common in India. Drivers who are not alert and drive irresponsibly on roads significantly increase the chances of mishaps. This way, they end up putting co-passengers and others present on the road at grave risk.


The Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, while addressing the Parliament, mentioned that in the year 2018, over 54,000 people have died in road accidents on national highways alone. It was also highlighted that a vast majority of these deaths were caused due to speeding, while 5 per cent were a result of drunk driving.


Over-speeding in India will now draw a fine of 2000 INR as it is categorised under dangerous driving. The fine for driving beyond speed earlier varied from one state to another ranging from as low as 100 INR to going as high as 3000 INR.  According to the amended Act, the fine could even be increased at the rate of 10 per cent each year.


Many people caught driving recklessly, or over-speeding are found to be intoxicated. The new law aims to be fair and aims to penalise the offenders based on the level of intoxicating substance present in the bloodstream will attract the corresponding amount of fine.


Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other narcotic substances will draw a penalty as per the category described in the amendment. The maximum fine that can be imposed for intoxicated driving offences is 10,000 INR instead of the meagre amount of 2,000 INR, which was levied previously. In addition to penal consequences for drunken driving, in the event of any compensation to be paid to third party same would be paid only by owner of vehicle and not by their insurance companies.


According to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, individuals caught driving without a license, would face a fine of 5,000 INR against an earlier fine of 500 INR. Similarly, in case of individuals caught driving recklessly will have to pay 5,000 INR as fines against the earlier amount of 1,000 INR.


Fines for driving without a valid insurance policy have also been raised, so it makes sense to purchase car insurance and/or bike insurance. This will not only safeguard you against any financial liability but also help you adhere to the traffic rules. A violation of the same could lead to heavy fines, which may be higher than the annual insurance premiums. 


Know Your RTO Address & Services


The Indian government, with the help of major overhaul, is hoping to make all administrative bureaus and agencies more transparent and corruption-free. The RTO or the regional transport office is another such agency present in each state which provides citizens with several roads, vehicle and driving-related services.


Like most other government-approved programs and services, the RTO body has also been automated. By computerising these facilitations, the administration is looking to speed up the process, get rid of the dependency on cash transactions, cut down the red tape, and do away with complex procedures.


The RTO provides online services through the Sarathi website. Citizens can access the site and follow simple and straightforward steps to apply for their learner’s licence and permanent driving licences by filling and submitting Form 4. The form can be procured from the nearest regional RTO or can be downloaded from the Sarathi website. 


The RTO or their online presence in the form of the Sarathi website also assist with one-time registration, issue of no objection certificates or NOCs, vehicular permits, and a myriad of other such information. Certain RTO services also include payment or refund of taxes, re-registering vehicles for using in states other than it was originally registered in while purchasing or by the previous owner.


Citizens should visit the local RTO for any additional help and to ensure that they are fully aware of their rights.