Getting Pulled Over By The Cops: Know The Traffic Rules and Your Rights.
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Got Pulled Over By the Traffic Police? Know Your Rights in Such a Situation

On a typical jammed road in India, bickering among motorists and traffic cops is a common sight. As pressure rises on the city arteries to carry more and more vehicles with the ongoing urbanization of the country, maintaining a close watch at the traffic violations, is a tedious task for traffic management authorities too. As they say, an informed citizen is a better decision taker. So, we have jotted down certain laws and rights that you should know while being pulled over by the traffic authorities for a violation in India. It is mandatory to follow the traffic rules. However, a number of people are not only unaware of most them, but also they lack knowledge of their rights on the road.

Authorities and responsibilities of a traffic policeman

  • A traffic policeman has the rights to ask you to pull over on the motorway to check your documents or in case of any suspicion
  • A traffic policeman has the right to ask you for your driving licence and other necessary vehicle documents such as the registration certificate, PUC (Pollution Under Control) papers and motor insurance.

Tip – It is mandatory to carry original copies of all vehicle-related documents and your driving licence at all times.

  • If you are unable to produce the vehicle documents like the driving license when asked by a traffic policeman, he has the authority to fine you or arrest you
  • The traffic policeman has the right to seize your vehicle’s documents or your driving license in case of any suspicion or violation. In this case, the policeman will provide you with a temporary acknowledgement receipt depicting the circumstances on which your documents are being seized.

Tip – Every traffic policeman carries a badge on their uniform. Make sure to check the identity of the officer before handing over the documents.

  • It’s a common scenario in India to see malfunctioned traffic lights on the intersection. In such a case, the traffic policeman has the ultimate authority to manage the traffic flow on the carriageway. It is your duty to follow his instructions.

Tip – If you find any malfunctioned traffic signal on an intersection where no traffic policeman is deployed, make sure to inform the authorities via email or in person.

  • A traffic policeman has the authority to seize your vehicle in case of a traffic violation such as speeding over the limit, jumping the red light or driving without your driving license and vehicle documents.
  • A traffic policeman has the authority to arrest you without a warrant if you are found guilty of traffic violations such as driving under the influence of alcohol or banned drugs.

Tip – If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable driving your vehicle due to any reason, ask your acquaintances to drop you home or take a cab.

Traffic Rules and Rights Police in Action

Traffic Rules: Authorities and responsibilities motorists are unaware of

  • As a fellow commuter using the motorways of your city, it’s your responsibility to adhere to the traffic rules and follow the instructions/ signboards along the route.
  • If a traffic policeman asks you to pull over on the side of the road, it is your responsibility to slow down, push the indicators and double park on the parking lane on the side of the road. If you try to zoom past the situation, it will only worsen the situation making you vulnerable to suspicion.
  • Once on the side of the road, if you have violated any traffic rule, apologize for the same and there are chances he may let you go with a warning. If not, then ask him for a challan and pay the fine. If you fail to pay the fine, the officer may confiscate your documents. After this, you will have to appear in front of the court. If you miss the deadline for the court meeting, an arrest warrant against you may be generated.
  • If the officer chooses to confiscate your driving license or your vehicle’s documents, you have the right to ask him for an acknowledgement receipt for the same.
  • Never try to bribe a police officer, this is ethically wrong and a punishable offence under the lens of law.

Traffic Rules and Rights Knowledge

Fine amount for various traffic violations in India

Violation Fine
Driving without a valid driving licence Rs. 5000/- and/or imprisonment for 3 months
Driving without documents prescribed in Motor vehicle act Rs. 500/-
Driving without motor insurance Rs. 2000/-
Driving without driving permit Up to Rs. 10,000/-
Driving without vehicle fitness certificate Up to Rs. 5000/-
Driving without registration certificate (RC) Rs. 2000/-
Driving as a minor Rs. 500/-
Driving without seatbelt Rs. 100/-
Overspeeding Rs. 1000/-
Not stopping before the zebra crossing Rs. 100/-
Use of offensive number plate Rs. 100/-
Display applied for (A/F) on the number plate Rs. 4500/-
Driving with high beam when not required Rs. 100/-
Use of shrill horn Rs. 500/-
Jumping the traffic light Rs. 1000/- and/or license scrapping for 3 months
Driving under the influence of alcohol Rs. 10,000/-
Use of mobile phone while driving Up to Rs. 1000/-
Use of tint/ dark glasses on side windows Rs. 100/-
Parking in a ‘No parking’ zone Rs. 100/-

Traffic Rules and Rights Know your rights

Traffic laws you never knew existed in India

  • If you find someone blocking the exit gate of a parking lot, he may have to pay INR 100/- as fine
  • You could be fined for a non-functional horn on your vehicle in India
  • Smoking inside your car is a punishable offence in Delhi NCR region
  • Parking in front of public utility facilities could attract fine in Kolkata, India
  • Installing video devices such as media players is a punishable offence under the law in Mumbai, India

 

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