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New Traffic Rules and Fines in India

Team CARS24
editor
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New Traffic Rules and Fines in India

Team CARS24
editor

As is common knowledge, breaking traffic rules is not only illegal but even dangerous to the safety of road users. Hence, it’s not surprising to see the authorities imposing penalties on traffic rule violators, with the severity of the punishment varying as per the nature of the offence. The consequences of breaking a traffic law could vary from a fine of a few hundred rupees to disqualification of the driving licence and, in some cases, even imprisonment.

Also read – Traffic Signs in India – Road Safety Signs

The penalties for traffic rule violations are revised every few years and in line with this, the punishments have been revised just a few months back. Here are all the details you should know about the new traffic rules and fines in India.

Traffic Rules in India

Other than the traffic signs that you can see on the side of the roads to remind you of some of the basic rules, there are many other things that you, as a driver, need to follow. These have been mentioned below- 

  • One must drive on the left side on a two-way road so that the oncoming traffic can pass through easily.
  • On a one-way road, the driver should allow overtaking through the right side of the road.
  • In case the driver turns left, he should make sure that his vehicle is on the left side of the road while passing through the corner.
  • In case the driver has to turn right, he should drive to the center of the road and drive towards the right side of the road he is entering.
  • It is compulsory for the driver to slow down at intersections and pedestrian crossings.
  • In case the driver is on the main road that does not have any sort of traffic regulation, he should allow other vehicles to overtake from the right side
  • Hand signals are as important as indicators, especially in bright daylight or when the indicators aren’t working. Also, when the driver has to slow down, he should extend his right arm and swing it up and down to signal vehicles behind him. When stopping the vehicle, the driver has to raise the arm vertically for an indication to drivers behind him.
  • However, make sure to use indicators at all times. In case of emergency, use hazard lights.
  • On a two-wheeler, it’s mandatory for both rider and pillion to wear an ISI-approved helmet.
  • All drivers shouldn’t park their vehicles near a road crossing, near traffic lights, the entrance of a building, near a fire hydrant or on a footpath.
  • The registration number of vehicles should be clearly visible to all road users.
  • Under no circumstances should any of the lights of the vehicle be covered by an occupant or luggage.
  • The driver of a vehicle shouldn’t drive in reverse on a one-way road.
  • The driver should not cross the yellow line on the road even when overtaking a vehicle from the right side.
  • In the case of driving from one lane to another, the relevant indicator should be used.
  • The driver should never let his vehicle pass the STOP lettings painted on the road.
  • One should use the Horn only when required. Also, the horn shouldn’t be too loud or shrill. The horn shouldn’t be sounded in no-honking zones like schools and hospitals.
  • While driving, a sufficient gap should always be maintained from the vehicle right ahead to avoid a collision in case the vehicle in front slows down suddenly.
  • The driver should avoid sudden braking unless really required.
  • While driving a tractor or a goods vehicle, the driver should not exceed the limit of the number of passengers permitted in the vehicle.
  • While carrying goods on a vehicle, the driver must not overload. Also, explosives or inflammable goods shouldn’t be carried.
  • Only one pillion is allowed to ride on a two-wheeler
  • The driver must make way for cyclists and remember that the road is not only for motor vehicles.
  • In case another vehicle is overtaking you, do not increase the speed to stop the vehicle from passing you.
  • The driver should check his rearview mirror before initiating a turn.
  • The driver should be alert in case the amber light is being flashed.

Also read – Traffic Signal Rules in India – Traffic Light Rules

New Traffic Rules in India 2020

With an increased number of vehicles on the road, the Government of India recently made amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act in order to update the traffic rules. The new traffic rules are already under implementation in all parts of the country to a varying degree. Hence, drivers should be aware of these rules and not violate any of them. The new traffic rules are as follows:

  • In Uttarakhand, if the driver is caught talking on a mobile phone while driving, then other than having to pay a fine, the police can confiscate the mobile phone for a period of 24 hours. This order was issued by the Nanital high court.
  • In Rajasthan, if any driver violates any of the traffic laws, other than having to pay a fine, the driving license can be cancelled or temporarily suspended by the same RTO where it is issued. This order comes from the Jodhpur bench of the High Court.
  • Pune and Bengaluru have banned the use of loud silencers on motorcycles as these cause a lot of noise pollution and even reduce the emission control of the vehicle. They also cause a safety hazard by disturbing others.
  • As per the revised Motor Vehicle Act, anyone who is found watching a video while driving a motor vehicle can be punished by the law. This has been done to avoid accidents caused by distracted drivers.
  • It is illegal to park your vehicle in front of a rescue vehicle such as an ambulance, fire truck or a police vehicle. If found guilty of the above, the driver will have to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 or more.
  • No person can be fined twice for the same offence unless the offence in question is overspeeding. However, if the offender has lost the receipt of the earlier fine and if he is driving the vehicle in another state, he will have to pay the fine again.

Also read – DL Application Status

Traffic Fines for Violations (From Sep 2019)

All the Traffic Rules in India are defined as per the New Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. As we said, the rules and fines were last revised a few months back and have gotten more stringent than ever before. Basically, there has been a steep increase in the publishments both in monetary and imprisonment terms.

Also read – Form of Application for New Licence to Drive a Motor Vehicle

For example, in case you are caught driving without a valid insurance for your motor vehicle, the earlier penalty of Rs 1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months has been changed to a fine of Rs 2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to Rs 3 months for the first-time offence. Subsequently, the punishment is increased to a fine of Rs 4,000 and/or imprisonment of 3 months. A similar increase in severity has been witnessed even with other penalties as per the new Traffic Rules and Fines for violating them. Here is a table of all the required details-

Offence New Penalty (From September 2019) Old Penalty
General OffenceFirst-Time- Rs.500
Second-Time- Rs.1,500
First-Time- Rs.100
Second-Time- Rs.300
Road Rules ViolationRs.500 to Rs.1,000Nil
Travel without ticketRs.500Rs.200
Disobeying orders of Authorities/Refusing to Share Demanded InformationRs.2,000Rs.500
Driving an Unauthorized Vehicle without LicenseRs.5,000Rs.1,000
Driving Without LicenseRs.5,000Rs.500
Driving With Disqualified LicenseRs.10,000Rs.500
OverspeedingLight Motor Vehicle:
Rs.1,000 to Rs.2,000

Medium Passenger or Goods Vehicle:
Rs.2,000 to Rs.4,000 and impounding of DL for the Subsequent or Second-Time Offence.
Rs.400
Rash DrivingFirst-Time Offence: 
Imprisonment of 6 Months to 1 Year and/or Fine of Rs.1,000 to Rs.5,000

Second-Time Offence: 
Imprisonment of up to 2 years and/or Fine up to Rs.10,000.
Nil
Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Intoxicating SubstanceFirst-Time Offence: 
Rs.10,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 6 months.

Second-Time Offence: 
Rs.15,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 2 years.
Rs.2,000
Driving Oversized Vehicles without permissionRs.5,000Nil
Driving When Mentally/Physically UnfitFirst-Time Offence: Rs.1,000
Second-Time Offence: Rs.2,000
First-Time Offence:Rs.200
Second-Time Offence:Rs.500
Accident Related OffencesFirst-Time Offence: 
Rs.5,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 6 months.

Second-Time Offence: 
Rs,10,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 1 Year.
Nil
Driving Uninsured Vehicle (without valid Insurance)First-Time Offence: 
Rs.2,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 3 months.
Second-Time Offence: 
Rs.4,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 3 months.
Rs.1,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 3 months.
Racing and Speed-testingFirst-Time Offence: 
Rs.5,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 3 months.

Second-Time Offence: 
Rs.10,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 1 year.
Rs.500
Vehicle Without PermitRs.10,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 6 months.Up to Rs.5,000
Aggregators (Violations of Licensing Conditions)Rs.25,000 to Rs.1 lakhNil
OverloadingRs.20,000 and Rs.2,000 per extra tonneRs.2,000 and Rs.1,000 per extra tonne
Overloading of PassengersRs.1,000 per extra passengerNil
Not Wearing SeatbeltRs.1,000Rs.100
Overloading of Two-WheelersRs.2,000 and Disqualification of License for 3 monthsRs.100
Not Wearing HelmetRs.1,000 and Disqualification of License for 3 monthsRs.100
Not Providing Way for Emergency VehiclesRs.10,000 and/or Imprisonment of 6 monthsNil
Offences by JuvenilesRs.25,000 with Imprisonment of 3 years for which the Guardian / Owner shall be deemed to be guilty.Nil
Power of Officers to Impound DocumentsSuspension of DL under Section 183, 184, 185, 189, 190, 194C, 194D, 194ENil
Offences Committed by Enforcing OfficersDouble the Penalty under Relevant SectionNil

Also Read – Red Light Jump Challan

Highlights of the New Traffic Fines for Violations – (From Sep 2019)

Regardless to say, driving under the influence of alcohol or substance is a serious offence as it poses a threat to the safety of self and that of other road users. This is due to the fact that chances of a mishap increase by many times in case the driver is not alert due to the intoxication. Hence, as per the new traffic rules and fines, the offender is liable to some serious punishment, which varies as per the alcohol level found in the blood. Similarly, there has been a higher publishment/penalty for most other serious offences. The details have been listed out below-

Also read – Know about Smart Card Driving License Online Application

Driving Without License:

In case you are caught driving without licence, you can be fined for Rs 5,000. This is a ten-fold increase from the earlier fine of Rs 500.

Also read – List of Learning Licence (LL) Fees in India

Driving Without Insurance

As per the new traffic rules and fines, which came into action through the amendment of motor vehicle act 2019, the penalty for driving without insurance for the motor vehicle has been increased from Rs 1,000 and /or imprisonment of up to 3 months to Rs 2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months for the first-time offenders and Rs 4,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months for the second-time offenders.

Driving With Disqualified DL

In case your driving license has been disqualified and you are caught driving, you will have to pay a fine of Rs 10,000. This has been hiked fro Rs 500 previously.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Intoxicating Substance:

Regardless to say, driving under the influence of alcohol or substance is a serious offence as it poses a threat to the safety of self and that of other road users. This is due to the fact that chances of a mishap increase by many times in case the driver is not alert due to the intoxication. Hence, as per the new traffic rules and fines, the offender is liable to some serious punishment, which varies as per the alcohol level found in the blood. The details have been listed out below-

Alcohol Levels
New Penalty
Old Penalty
Exceeding 30 mg per 100 ml of Blood
First-Time Offence: 
Rs.10,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 6 months.

Second-Time Offence: 
Rs.15,000 and/or Imprisonment of up to 2 years
Rs.2,000

Not Wearing a Helmet:

The traffic fine for riding a two-wheeler without wearing a helmet has been increased from Rs 100 to Rs.1,000.

Also Read : Challan for Driving Without Helmet in India

Racing and Speed-testing

Racing and speed-testing on public roads is a publishable offence and its fine has been increased from Rs.500 to Rs.5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months for the first-time offence and Rs.10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 1 year for repeat offenders.

Offences by Juveniles:

There is no punishment to the juvenile for this but the owner of the vehicle or the guardian has to pay a fine of Rs.25,000 with imprisonment of 3 years.

Offences Committed by Enforcing Officers:

While there was no penalty for this offence, the new fine is double the penalty under the relevant section.

Having Two Driving Licences

In case you are found having two or more driving licenses, you can be penalized. Also, from now, all driving licences that are to be issued will have a smart chip that can be accessed by the traffic police through a QR code.

Tips to Avoid Traffic Violations and Fines: For Car Owners & Drivers

  • One can avoid paying hefty penalties simply through some good habits that ensure none of the traffic rules are broken. Here is a list of such practices – 
  • Always wear a seatbelt- This is something that will not only save you from paying fines but even keep you safe. It’s also mandatory for the front passenger to wear the seatbelt, while even the rear ones are recommended to use seatbelts in the interest of their safety. 
  • Drive gently and within speed limits- Keep an eye out for speed limit signs and drive below the prescribed limit. Also, avoid frequent lane changes or unnecessarily carrying high speeds on a crowded street. Other than saving you from penalties, it will also keep you and your car safe. 
  • Never drink and drive- Alcohol can get even more injurious to your health if you decided to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or an intoxicating substance. 
  • Carry all the required documents at all times. Failing to produce documents on being asked by the cops can land you in trouble. 

Also Read : Road Safety Rules in India – Road Safety Tips

Tips to Avoid Traffic Violations and Fines: For Two-Wheeler Owners & Riders

  • Other than most of the above, there are some other things that two-wheeler owners and riders should keep in mind –
  • Wear a helmet – Always wear a helmet when riding a two-wheeler. In fact, even the pillion is required to wear a helmet. This will not only help you avoid challans, but will even keep you safe in an event of a crash. Moreover, wearing an ISI helmet is mandatory, failing which, you can be fined. 
  • Also, several motorcycle owners remove the rearview mirrors and the crash guards of the motorcycles. Again, this is in violation of the law and should not done. Doing so can lead imposition of fines by the cops.

List of States that have Implemented New Traffic Fines

The Motor Vehicles Amendment Act got into controversy soon after it was released, with many states opposing the decision of the Centre to impose heavier fines. However, most of the states wholeheartedly welcomed the move. Here is a list of states that have implemented new traffic fines –

Andaman and NicobarAndhra PradeshKarnataka
ChandigarhArunachal PradeshManipur
Daman and DiuAssamMeghalaya
Dadar and Nagar HaveliBiharMizoram
DelhiGoaNagaland
Jammu and KashmirHaryanaSikkim
LadakhHimachal PradeshTamil Nadu
LakshadweepJharkhandTripura
Uttar PradeshUttarakhand

List of States that did not Implement New Traffic Fines:

Still, many state governments, including the BJP-ruled Gujarat, were against th heavier fines. Here is a list of states which have not implemented the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act.

KeralaRajasthan
Madhya PradeshGujarat
OdhisaPunjab
ChattisgarhTelangana
PuducherryWest Bengal
Maharashtra

List of States that had Implemented the New Traffic Fines but Later Revised the Same

There are some states that had implemented the new traffic fines at first but later revised them. Here is the list of these vehicles-

State NameRevised Traffic Fines
GujaratThe BJP-led state accepted the new fines at first but reduced them at a later stage, with penalties going down by 25-90 per cent. This was done on the grounds of “humanitarian and compassionate”.
Uttarakhand The Uttarakhand Government earlier accepted the fines but then reduced them. For example, the fine for driving without a valid license was brought down from Rs 10,000 to Rs. 5,000.
KarnatakaThe Karnataka Government reduced their fines of 18 offences by 30% to 50%. For example, penalties for driving without wearing a seatbelt was reduced from Rs 1,000 to Rs. 500.
GoaInitially, Goa decided to postpone the implementation of the new traffic fines but later revised the penalties of some offences.
Odisha While the new traffic rules were earlier implemented, the state government later relaxed some of these penalties.
HaryanaLike others, even Haryana implemented the amendments under the new Motor Vehicles Act but later “slowed down” the fines. However, the traffic officials are new educating the riders and drivers with these new amendments.

List of States that Implemented the Traffic Fines but later put them on Hold

The only state that had implemented the traffic fines but later put them on hold is that of Telangana. The Chief Minister of the state of Telangana has asked the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) to first study the result of the higher penalties in other states and then decide the fines for the state of Telangana.

FAQs

Q: Who is authorized to collect traffic violation penalties on the spot?

A: An Assistant Sub-inspector or a traffic police branch officer of above rank is authorized to collect traffic violation fines on the spot of issuing the challan.

Q: What is the rule for the use of a mobile phone?

A: As per the Section 177 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, a driver can be fined for using a mobile phone while driving if it causes inconvenience or poses a risk to the safety of other road users. While the fine was earlier Rs 100 to Rs 300, it has been now increased to Rs 1,000, while the compounding fee is Rs 500.

Q: Can passengers of the vehicle use a mobile phone?

A: There have been incidents where a traffic police office has flagged down a car in which the front passenger has been using a mobile phone. Therefore, there are many who have asked if it is legal for passengers of the vehicle to use a mobile phone while the vehicle is being driven. Basically, if your co-passenger answers the call for you and puts it on speaker model to let you use the phone without having to hold it, the same is liable for a fine as it leads to distraction.

Q: Can I use a mobile phone if I’m a doctor?

A: No, there is no exemption provided to anyone for usage of the mobile phone. In case you’re a practising doctor and need to attend an urgent call, you should pull over and start using the mobile phone only after you’ve made a legal stop.

Q: What is the rule for wearing seat belts in a car?

A: Both the driver and the person seated in front of the vehicle must wear seat belts while the car is in motion.

Q: What documents of a vehicle should a driver carry when driving?

A: You need to carry your Driving License, Registration Certificate, Tax Paid Receipt, Emission Test Certificate and Insurance Certificate al the time. In case of a transport vehicle, you are also required to carry a Fitness Certificate and Permit.

Q: When is a vehicle towed away?

A: In case a vehicle is left unattended or abandoned in a way that it causes inconvenience to others or if it is parked in an unauthorized parking zone, it can be towed away.

Q: What is the fine for drink and drive?

A: In case you are caught driving drunk, the penalty for it is Rs.10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months for a first-time offence and Rs.15,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years for a subsequent offence. This fine will be required to be paid in the court.

Q: What if I don’t appear before the court?

A: A warrant will be issued if you do not appear in the court and may lead to arrest and stricter penalties.

Q: What is the fine for a vehicle which is not insured?

A: In case you are caught driving a vehicle without insurance, there is a fine of Rs 2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months for the first time offence, and of Rs 4,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months for the second instance.

Q: Can I have two driving licences in India?

A: No, you cannot have two driving licences in India. As per the new Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019, one can be fined heavily if he or she is found to possess two or more driving licenses.

Q: What is the fine for drunken driving in India?

A: If you’re found drinking and driving a vehicle, the penalty for such violations is Rs.10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months for a first-time offence and Rs.15,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years for second-time offence. You’ll have to pay the fine in the court as they empowered to impose the fine.

Q: What is the penalty for driving without a license under the new Motor Vehicle Act?

A: As per the new traffic rules and fines, the fine for driving without insurance for the motor vehicle is Rs 1,000 and /or imprisonment of up to 3 months to Rs 2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months for the first-time offenders and Rs 4,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months for the subsequent offences.

Q: What is the New Motor Vehicle Act implementation date?

A: As per the official notification issued by the central government on 28 August 2019, the 63 clauses of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act,2019 came into force from 1 September 2019.

Q: What is the penalty for Over-speeding in India?

A: Penalty for overspeeding in a Light Motor Vehicle is Rs.1,000 to Rs.2,000, while it is Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000 and impounding of the driving license for subsequent offence when driving a Medium Passenger or Goods Vehicle.

Q: What is the new Motor Vehicle Act?

A: The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is based on the recommendations made by the Group of Transport Ministers of States. Given that the Act wanted to deter individuals from violating traffic rules, it has introduced heavy fines for drunken driving, driving without a licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, etc.