States cannot lower fines under Motor Vehicles Act: Centre

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According to the Central Government, the states cannot reduce the penalty fees imposed by the new Motor Vehicles Act.

As a matter of fact, the new motor vehicle act is parliamentary legislation, and the state governments cannot implement any new law over it. Moreover, it cannot even take any exclusive actions to reduce the fines charged. To do so, they will require the approval of the President beforehand.

After the state governments have been imposing lesser fines than the rates prescribed in the new Motor Vehicles Act, the transport ministry held consultations with its law counterparts. Hence, after discussions, it was concluded that the state government cannot take any action to lower the penalty rates prescribed under the bill.

In case any state government fails to implement the Act, reference may be made to Article 256 of the Constitution that allows the Centre to issue directions to a state as may be necessary for the purpose.

The new penalty rates in comparison with the new rates according to the Motor Vehicles Act, 2019 are as follows –

OFFENCE OLD PENALTY NEW PENALTY
General (offences for which no penalty is defined otherwise) INR100 for the first offence; INR300 for subsequent offence INR500 for the first offence; INR1,500 for subsequent offence
Road regulation violation INR100 INR500
Disobedience of orders of authorities INR500 INR2,000
Unauthorized use of vehicles without license INR1,000 INR1,000 – INR5,000
Driving without license INR500 INR5,000 and/or community service
Driving despite disqualification INR500 INR10,000 and/or community service
Oversized vehicles N/A INR5,000 – INR10,000 and/or community service
Over-speeding INR400 INR1,000 – INR2,000 for LMV

INR2,000 – INR4,000 for MPV/HPV and/or impounding of driving license

Dangerous driving (e.g. jumping a red light) INR1,000 INR1,000 – INR5,000 and/or imprisonment of 6 months to 1 year for the first offence, seizure of license; INR 10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years for a subsequent offence
Drink driving INR2,000 INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months to 1 year for the first offence; INR 15,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years for a subsequent offence
Speeding/Racing INR500 INR5,000 and/or imprisonment of 1 month, community service; INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 1 month for a subsequent offence
Offences relating to an accident N/A Up to INR5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months for the first offence; INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 1 year for a subsequent offence
Driving when mentally/physically unfit to drive INR200 for the first offence; INR500 for a subsequent offence INR1,000 for the first offence; INR2,000 for a subsequent offence
Vehicle without permit Up to INR5,000 INR10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months, community service
Aggregators (violations of licensing conditions) N/A INR25,000 to INR1 lakh
Overloading INR2,000 and INR1,000 per extra tonne INR20,000 and INR2,000 per extra tonne
Overloading of passengers N/A INR1,000 per extra passenger
No Seat belt INR100 INR1,000 and/or community service
Overloading of two wheelers INR100 INR2,000, disqualification of license for 3 months and/or community service
Not wearing a helmet INR100 INR1,000 and/or disqualification of license for 3 months, community service
Not providing a way for emergency vehicles like ambulance N/A INR10,000 and/or community service
Driving without insurance INR1,000 and/or punishment up to 3 months INR 2,000 and/or imprisonment up to 3 months for the first offence; INR 4000 and/or imprisonment up to 3 months for the subsequent offence
Offences by juveniles N/A Guardian/owner shall be deemed to be guilty. INR25,000 with 3 years imprisonment and cancellation of the registration of the vehicle for 12 months. A Juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.
Power of officers to impound documents N/A Suspension of driving license
Offences committed by enforcing authorities N/A Twice the penalty under the relevant section
Taking a vehicle without lawful authority/seizing motor vehicle by force INR500 INR5,000
Obstructing the free flow of traffic INR50 INR500

The main highlight of mv act 177 is to impose heftier fines in order to make Indian roads safer to travel. It will discipline the people and force them to follow traffic safety rules. Hence, if you happen to break traffic rules often, make sure you do not do so anymore as you might attract huge fines.

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