Traffic Fines, Penalties, & Challans
If you’re amongst those who don’t give a honk about traffic rules, it’s time to reconsider because the Motor Vehicles Amendment 2019 (MVA) Bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha, is set to put the brakes on traffic misdemeanours.
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What You Need to Know About Traffic Fines
The updated rules and guidelines for road safety and traffic offences are applicable to all two-, three-, and four-wheelers, plus buses and trucks. A series of stringent new fines for traffic violation will be enforced as a major deterrent to those who tend to take such offences lightly.
In addition to bringing in discipline and making the roads safer for both, vehicles and pedestrians, implementation of the updated traffic laws can significantly reduce the number of accidents and save lives.
In another progressive move, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has digitized the process of fine collection through e-challans to bring in greater adherence to the law, improve transparency, and minimize the chances of bribery in lieu of a traffic police fine.
New fines for traffic violation
While the MVA states over 130 different traffic offences related to documentation, driving, parking, road etiquette, honking, etc., here are some common misdemeanors you should be aware of, along with the traffic fines list.
Jumping the signal or using your mobile phone while driving attracts Rs. 5000 for either traffic offence; you could also get a jail term of up to a year.
Driving a car without a seat belt or riding a motorbike without a helmet will set you back by Rs. 1000 every time you are caught.
Remember to keep your driving license, insurance papers, and PUC certificate in your vehicle. The fines are Rs. 5000, Rs. 2000 and Rs. 10,000 respectively, for missing documents.
You will have to pay Rs. 1000 for speeding, Rs. 5000 for rash and negligent driving, Rs. 10,000 for not giving way to an emergency vehicle (ambulance/fire truck, etc.) as per the new fines for traffic violation.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or driving despite disqualification incurs a fine of Rs. 10,000 for either traffic offence.
The new e-challan system
With the digitisation of traffic fines, you will not be able to argue or buy your way out of a traffic offence anymore. Traffic personnel in major cities have been given Android-based, 4G-compliant handheld devices, enabled with a camera and GPS that will ensure credible prosecution. They can now click a photo and update the system on a real-time basis.
Alternatively, multiple security cameras and speed guns at key spots in the city will capture you ‘in the act’. If your phone number is updated on the Road Transport Authority (RTO) registry, you will receive an intimation of the traffic offence via SMS within minutes. You may also receive a notice in physical format at your (vehicle’s) registered address.
How to check traffic fine online
If you misplaced the intimation or your mobile number is not registered with the RTO, here's how to check if you have been fined:
- Log on to the E-Challan - Digital Traffic/Transport Enforcement Solution website.
- Click on the ‘Check Challan Status’ from the menu bar.
- Next, you have the option of entering either the challan number, vehicle number, or driving license number. Fill in the requisite column with the Captcha code and click on ‘Get Details’.
The traffic offence, if any, and the e-challan details will reflect below on the same screen. The row will remain blank if no e-challan is found.
How to pay the e-challans for traffic offences
If you have a pending e-challan, you can pay it immediately by clicking on the ‘Pay Now’ tab. You can pay either through a credit or debit card or via internet banking. You will receive a ‘payment successful’ message along with a transaction ID, which you should save for future reference.
As per the new rules, you need to clear the e-challan within 60 days of the issue of the notice. Failure to do so may result in court summons, which could lead to imprisonment for up to three months, apart from additional fines.
The Bottom Line
India has the highest rates of fatalities due to road accidents, and millions are injured each year. While the hefty new fines for traffic violation should not be the only reason to follow correct driving or riding protocols, they will surely enforce discipline and make the roads relatively safer for everyone. While the government has taken the necessary steps to make roads safer, you too must #ThinkAhead and become a more responsible driver by adhering to traffic rules.
Disclaimer: The recent changes made in the Motor Vehicle Act 2019 are subject to acceptance by different state legislations. Not all Indian states have accepted the new rules yet. Please check the local legislation to know the application status of Motor Vehicle Act 2019, in your state.