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Motor Vehicles Act 1988

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This is actually an all India article.  I am posting it under Bangalore, Karnataka because this particular announcement is relevant to this state.

It appears that the Union Government is starting the process of reviewing the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988.  Suggestions for changes and amendments to the act have been invited.  I quote the section verbatim from the full article found here..

"Those interested, including associations and organisations, may send their suggestions to the Commissioner for Transport and Road Safety, Government of Karnataka, 5th Floor, M.S. Building, Bangalore 560001 by October 31 by post, or by email to, cc and"

Here are a few links.

Motor vehicles act 1988 (the legislation passed in parliament)

Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 (the detailed rules for implementing the act)

Notifications modifying some of the details








Are there a few folks who are willing to do a detailed review of the existing rules and sending in suggestions for modifications to the laws?  I would have loved to coordinate something like this, but time is a huge constraint for me for the rest of the year.


idontspam's picture


132 users have liked.

 Shucks, I have got all my suggestions spread all over this site. How long are they listening?

PS: Just noticed; till the end of this month. 

sanjayv's picture

IDS - will you collate and forward comments?

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Great IDS.!  Can you summarize your suggestions here in this thread?

Folks:  It is importrant to have a vigorous debate here and push for the change you/we want.  Granted, our suggestions may not make it to the final bill, but if we remain silent, then we cannot complain later that the RTOs are full of crooks or that the motor vehicle fine in cities is too small to be deterrent etc.

The channel is open - plug in and give a full throated roar.

s_yajaman's picture

Here are some things I would like to see

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a. Shorter durations for licenses - max 5 years.  At the end of 5 years should undergo a theory test once again to renew.  Beyond 50 eye tests, hearing tests, BP, etc.

b. Stiffer fines - Rs.1000 for jumping lights, speeding, riding on pavements; Rs.10,000 for drunken driving + 1 month jail +confiscation of license and all other passengers get fined Rs.10000 each too.  If another road user gets injured then 6 months in jail, if killed or grieviously injured 10years in jail. 

c. Electronically limiting speeds to 100kmph for all cars at the manufacturer's side.  If the speed limit on highways is 80kmph then there is really no reason  for "having the freedom".

d. Insurance companies should be provided with the details of all offences.  This is like the credit history concept.  All insurance companies should be able to access databases and charge premia accordingly.  If dues are not paid up, then no insurance.  Onus is on the insurance company to comply.

e. HSR plates should be made mandatory for all cars.  If someone wants to put a local language plate fine, but the Arabic/English plate should be compulsory.

f. All buses, autos to run on CNG in the next 5 years. 



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Naveen's picture

Exponential fines, Medical already mandatory

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There is one other suggestion - stiffer penalties for repeated offenders, with confisication of license over a certain limit. Say, someone jumps lights or drives rash repeatedly three times within a year (from date when offence was first committed) - he would have to pay, say 1,000rs the first time, 3,000rs the second time & 10,000rs the third time + lose his license for 3 months.

Such is already in force in many countries.


Beyond 50 eye tests, hearing tests, BP, etc.

I think a medical check-up is already necessary for those over 50 years & licenses are re-issued for only 5 years (for those past 50 years).


sanjayv's picture

Is there a way?

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Could the law be written such that the process of getting a license is absolutely transparent as well as rigorous?   How can driving schools be regulated better using these laws?  Just  a few thoughts without any detailed back ground reading.  Apologies for that,

s_yajaman's picture

Bigger concern is

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Will this be one more set of unenforced rules replacing the current set of unenforced rules. 

Let us say we devise a very good way of regulating driving schools and issuing licenses, who is going to enforce it.  If there is no political or bureaucratic will to enforce, then how will this make a difference. 

But sanjayv has a good point, how does one regulate driving schools, how does one make sure that licenses are issued (even if money changes hands) only after a person is forced to read up basic theory and answer 200 questions (100 questions repeated once).



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

sanjayv's picture

Let's get the rules in place first

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 Let's try to get the rules in place first.  The enforcement aspect is the next piece.  Completely agree that enforcement is a valid concern.

Naveen's picture

Agree with Sanjay

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One of the major concerns is clearly competence standards for licensing. In the present system, any & sundry manage to get driver's licenses all too easily. The licensing norms must be made much more stringent. A probationary period, of say 1 year after the learners' license is converted to a full-time DL can be brought in, when violations would mean automatic suspension for 3 months with a fine & re-commencement on probation from start.

Also, agree that enforcement is the key - laws are of no use if there isn't enough enforcement.


n's picture

Deadline for MV Act comments is actually 15th Oct ..

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.. (leaves a few hours as of this writing to get comments in) :-) Link is at Was writing suggestions (referring the MoRTH site) and was going to collect from other praja too but happened upon the site. As time is short, sent my list of suggestions to emails on the site and the article (thanks sanjayv).

sanjayv's picture

deadline for comments also Oct 31st.

119 users have liked.

 Thanks n!  Apparently, our state commissioner Mr. Bhaskar Rao is a member of the committee also.  We can still get comments to him by Oct 31st. Interested folks may also respond directly to the email i.d. in the link provided by n.


See DH news item

 Also n, please do share your feedback with us on this site...

blrpraj's picture

Strict laws on drunken driving

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I would like to see drunken driving be treated as a non bailable offence and be punished with imprisonment say something like 2 months or 6 months ..with a repeat offence be met with stricter punishment.  For drunken driving that causes injury or death to others, it should be a mandatory prison sentence of 10 years or more depending on severity of the case at the cout's discretion without possibility of bail.  Drunken driving is a menace and is the number 1 offence that needs to be tackled with stricter laws, better enforcement and better educational/social awareness.

Laws and enforcement must be stricter for drunk drivers of commercial vehicles like trucks, buses and taxis etc. Companies must be forced to perform driver record checks with the DMV and not hire commercial drivers with past drunken driving records. In the US (and probably other countries as well) laws are stricter for commercial vehicle drivers and for those carrying hazardous materials like petrol, acids etc. the violation of laws can result in a suspension of license for life.

idontspam's picture

Devolution of powers of enforcement

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My main suggestion. Devolution of powers of enforcement to let state set the offenses list and appropriate fines. 

s_yajaman's picture

On devolution and suggestions

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The central MV act should be seen as the minimum.  If states want they can be more stringent, but not less.  Else this will become another vote gathering tool.  And quickly we will slide to even more anarchy - assuming it is possible.

Now coming to the suggestion part - are we supposed to give our suggestions as general suggestions or reword the laws.  The pdf files in the above links are very painful to go through. 

Also they are quite vague e.g. on licensing driving schools.  All they say is that state governments may regulate driving schools - without specifying how, what, when, etc.

Other suggestions.

a. Hitting a pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing - Rs.10,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail. 

b. Signage  - where, how, how many, size, visibility, etc. 

c. Policing on private infrastructure roads - e.g. NICE.  (I was watching the patrol car and it itself was driving on the road shoulder!).  Who can do it, rights of levying fines, etc.

d. Traffic lights - guidelines on installation, numbering, maintenance, numbers to call in case they are not working.  Ensuring that all traffic lights have provisions to ensure that pedestrians get enough time to cross the road. 

e. Ambulance and first aid facilities on NH, SH and other roads.  Whose responsibility, is PPP allowed,

f. Appointment of a traffic ombudsman to whom the public can complain in case of repeated highhandedness from the authorities.



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

s_yajaman's picture

Would like to see a Preamble

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I would like to see the MV Act 2010 have a Preamble that lays out in clean and simple terms what the objective, policies and guiding principles are for the Act.  Not like the Introduction they have today which is quite cluttered with history, case laws, etc.

E.g. "The MV Act aims to regulate road traffic in India through the adoption of various policies and procedures.  The ultimate objective of this Act is to ensure road safety for all road users in India including pedestrians.  This follows from Article 21 of the Constitution that lays out the Right to Life as a fundamental right.  All policies and procedures will be defined keeping the following guiding principles in mind

Safety - The overarching principle is safety.  One death or injury is one too many.

Simplicity - will be worded to maximize clarity and avoid confusion.  Will be easy to administer.

Transparency - Procedures followed should be open to inspection and leave clear audit trails. 

I would also see the establishment of some sort of Road Safety Regulatory Body to whom the police, NHAI, etc are accountable to for road safety.  They need to monitor accidents, their investigation, root cause analyses, propose systemic fixes and ensure that these are implemented.




Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

sanjayv's picture

downloadable Motor Vehicles Act 1988

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 Click here for pdf

n's picture

Example of a suggestion

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At s_yajaman - Signages, policing, traffic lights, services (ambulances) may not be under the purview of MV act (see BBMP gyan). MV (AFAIK) deals with just motor vehicles, their registration, dimension and weight limitation, minimum standards, fees, penalties etc. FWIW, below is an example of one of the suggestions I sent.

"1) Greater autonomy to the respective states
With reference to the definition of "area" (sec. 2. (1), chapter I at, more such areas need to be defined for the state governments to autonomously fix fees and fines. As each state has a different state/city/area allowance (like house rent allowance) so too should the fees and fines be related to the cost of living of that area. Section 65, chapter II ( should be suitably modified to include the above."

At sanjayv: You are welcome. Seriously doubt the response part. Haven't received responses from govt. dept.s (including transport commissioner) to previous suggestion emails (except a standardized reply from DULT). 

j_venu's picture

handling minor crashes and Role of Responsible Driver

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Some suggestions while issuing Driving Licence
Educating and providing Clear Guidelines on How Drivers should handle the
Minor Accidents /Crash. Most of the Time Drivers  Block the entire Traffic to Quarrel
 and Resolve "who was at fault ?...".

Also people should be Educated about the Role of Responsible Driver
in case of Major Accident and Some First Aid Measures for the same.

There should be Clear Cut Guidelines on Safety Belts for 4 Wheelers,
Helmets for 2 wheelers and Usage of Mobiles During Driving.



sanjayv's picture

Sent my comments

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 I sent my comments out today via email.  Hope someone will read those.  I hope everybody else will also send out their comments by the 31st. comment guidelines

Posting Guidelines apply for comments as well. No foul language, hate mongering or personal attacks. If criticizing third person or an authority, you must be fact based, as constructive as possible, and use gentle words. Avoid going off-topic no matter how nice your comment is. Moderators reserve the right to either edit or simply delete comments that don't meet these guidelines. If you are nice enough to realize you violated the guidelines, please save Moderators some time by editing and fixing yourself. Thanks!

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