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Offences And Punishments Under New Motor Vehicle Act – Updated

new motor vehicle act


The Ministry of transport and highways recently notified about the changes in the existing motor vehicles act. The amendments were brought about by the central government. It amended the motor vehicle act of 1988. On September 1, 2019, the motor vehicle amendment act 2019 was implemented across the country, thereby increasing the penalty for the violations up to ten times than before. In this article, we shall go through the amendments brought in the new motor vehicle Act 2019.

Motor Vehicle Act Of 1988

The Motor Vehicle Act of 1988 was passed by the Parliament of India in the year 1988, and it covered everything with respect to the road transport vehicle. This act came into force on 1st July 1989. It contained provisions on traffic regulation, liabilities, penalties etc. which has now been amended by the New Motor Vehicle Act 2019.

Why Were Amendments Made In Motor Vehicle Act?

According to the reports provided by the WHO (World Health Organisation) in the year 2018, the highest number of road accidents takes place in India. Thus, making the Indian roads unsafe to tread upon.  The Indian government, in order to prevent the casualties, amended the erstwhile Motor Vehicle Act 1988. The law was put in place to ensure safe, efficient and corruption-free transport system in the world.

What Does The New Motor Vehicle Act Contain?

The new Motor Vehicle Act brought in sweeping changes wherein the penalties were enhanced massively.

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It has enhanced fines for drunk driving, driving without a licence, over speeding etc. The new motor vehicle laws also protect those who render medical or non- medical help to accident victims from criminal or civil liability. The compensation to the road accident victims has also been increased convincingly.

Offences And Punishments

The new Motor Vehicle Act enhanced the punishments and the fine in case of violations. Let us look at the offences and amended penalties for the violations in the table provided below-

General violations   100 Rs for first offence and 300 for subsequent offense   500 Rs for first offence and 1500 rs for subsequent offence  
Violations of road regulations   New Inclusion   Between 500 to 1000rs  
Non-compliance of orders of authority 500 Rs   2000 Rs  
Unauthorised use of the vehicle without a licence   1000 Rs   5000 Rs  
Driving vehicle without a licence   500 Rs   5000 Rs  
Driving vehicle despite disqualification   500 Rs   10,000 Rs  
Oversize vehicle   New Inclusion   5000 Rs  
Over speeding                         400 Rs                       1000 to 2000 Rs in case of a LMV; 2000-4000 Rs in case of a medium passenger vehicle and licence impoundment in case of subsequent offence
Dangerous driving       New Inclusion   Six months to one year of imprisonment And fine of upto 5000 Rs  
Drunken Driving   2000 Rs   Six months of imprisonment and or fine of upto 10000 Rs for first offence and 2 years of imprisonment and or fine of upto 15000 Rs for subsequent offence.  
Driving a vehicle when unfit mentally or physically to drive 200 Rs for first offence and 500 Rs for subsequent offence   1000 Rs for first and 2000 Rs for subsequent offence
Offences relating to accident New Inclusion   Six months imprisonment and or fine of upto Rs 5000 for first offence and imprisonment of 1 year and fine of upto 10000 Rs for subsequent offence  
Speeding and racing New Inclusion   1 month of imprisonment and or fine up to 500 Rs for first and 1 month imprisonment and or fine of Rs up to 10000 for subsequent offence   
Driving vehicle without insurance Fine of Rs 1000 and or punishment of upto three months   Imprisonment upto 3 months and or fine of Rs 2000 for first offence and three months imprisonment and fine of Rs 4000 for subsequent offence  
Causing obstruction to traffic   50 Rs fine   500 Rs fine  
Driving without helmets   100 Rs fine   Fine of Rs 1000 and disqualification for three months for licence  
Taking vehicle without lawful authority and seizing vehicle by force   500 Rs fine   5000 Rs fine  
Blocking way of emergency vehicles   New Inclusion   10000 Rs fine  
Overloading passengers   New Inclusion   1000 Rs fine per extra passenger  
Driving without seat belt 100 Rs fine 1000 Rs fine
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Offences by juveniles are also covered within the new motor vehicle act wherein the guardian of the juvenile or the owner of the vehicle shall be fined with 25000 rs with three years of imprisonment. Many new sections have been added, and heavy penalties have been imposed upon violations of the road safety standards.

What Else?

Apart from these, the new motor vehicle act raised the compensation scheme under the hit and run cases. In case of death, compensation shall be provided of Rs 25000 to two lakh rupees and in case of grievous injury, compensation of Rs 12000 to 50000 Rs.

Under the new motor vehicle act, the central government is empowered to order for recall of defected vehicle, which can be hazardous to the safe environment or for the road users.

The act directs the central government for the creation of Road Safety Board which will advise the central as well as the state government on road safety and traffic management.

Why Have The Punishments/Fines For The Offences Raised Remarkably?

According to the various reports put forward by different institutions over time, the reports suggest a spike in the number of road accidents in India.  India ranked number 1 in the number of deaths caused by road accidents among the 199 countries in 2018, accounting for almost 11 % of road accident-related deaths.

The transport Minister Nitin Gadkari confessed in the parliament that the ministry had failed terribly in reducing the number of deaths caused due to road accidents. Therefore the amendment was essential as it would act as a future deterrent.

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The Motor vehicle amendment Act 2019 was brought in to improve the road safety in India and to upgrade the laws on-road standards. One of the fundamental objectives of the new motor vehicle act is to ensure an efficient, safe and corruption less transport system in the country.


The amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act has been a pro-active move on the part of the government to ensure safety on the roads which in recent times have been termed as killer roads. The provisions of the new motor vehicle act shall hopefully prove to be a deterrent for many and shall cause a reduction in the number of road accidents in India. The strict and proper compliance of the laws on the part of every citizen of the nation shall fulfil the objectives of the Amended Act.

See Official notification here:

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