India has the second largest road networks in the world and accounts for 10% of worldwide road fatalities. Laws regulating the traffic on the road are provided under the motor vehicles act, 1988 is an act of passed by the parliament of India which came into force July 1, 1989 and is applicable to whole of India however lapses in traffic laws regulations, violations and accidents are glaring reality. India was having such enactment in place since the year 1914 but the menace of driving is still on and victims look upon the suitability of laws to curb such menace.
Important traffic laws in India:-
Road safety is a state subject. The administration of the motor vehicles act, 1988 is under the transport department, which is one of the largest revenue earning departments. The aforesaid act provides in detail the legislative provisions regarding licensing of drivers/conductors, registration of motor vehicles, control of motor vehicles through permits, special provisions relating to state transport undertakings, traffic regulation, insurance, liability, offences and penalties, etc. For exercising the legislative provisions of the act, the government of India made central motor vehicles rules 1989. Additionally, there are rules of road regulations, 1989. The aforesaid transport department works with two of the concerned authorities, under section 68 of the motor vehicles act, 1988. The RTO with which every individual is interacting, its services are discussed below.
Services provided by R.T.O:-
Related to driving license:
- Issuing learner license.
- Renewal of learner license.
- Issuing driving license.
- Renewal of driving license ( issued in same and other office).
- Noting change of address in learner and driving license.
- Issuing international driving permit.
- conductor license.
Related to registration of vehicles:
- temporary registration of vehicles.
- Permanent registration of vehicles.
- Transfer of ownership.
- Entry of hopscotching/ hire- purchase/ lease agreement.
- Termination of hopscotching/ hire- purchase / lease agreement.
- Change of address.
- Issue of no objection certificate.
- Issue of clearance certificate.
Collection of tax:
- Payment of tax.
The compliance of these regulations formulated are enforced by the enforcement agencies including traffic police. If in any case somebody violates the rules and regulations related to traffic laws then they are bound to issue challans against the offender under penal actions as per motor vehicles act, 1988.
Laws relating to registration of vehicle:-
- Mandatory registration: Under section 39 of the motor vehicle act, 1988 it prohibits driving of any motor vehicle, which is not registered or no owner of vehicle should permit driving of an unregistered vehicle in public place which is not registered under the provision of MV act. Exception to this provision is cars with the dealers.
- Jurisdiction of application: Registration of the vehicle is done by the concerned authority is done on the basis of your residence or place of residence or place of business, where the vehicle is normally kept.
- Application for jointly owned vehicle: In case of joint ownership, the registration of vehicle can be applied by one of the owners. If a vehicle registered in one state is kept in another state for more than a period of 12 months, then owner of the vehicle has to approach the registration authority mark within whose jurisdiction the vehicle is.
- Change of address: If there is change of address, then also, the owner of vehicle is required to approach the authority within 30 days in whose jurisdiction he has shifted for recording the change of address.
Laws relating to driving license:
- Effective driving license: Any person not otherwise disqualified to hold a driving license may apply for it. As per the section 3 of the central motor vehicle act, 1988 says nobody can drive at any public place until he holds an effective driving license.
- Age limit for obtaining the driving license: No person who is below the age of 18 years shall drive a motor vehicle of engine capacity not exceeding 50cc can drive under the age of 16 years. No person under the age of 20 years shall drive a transport vehicle.
- Learners license: The learners license means a license issued by the competent authority to drive as a learner or a motor vehicle specified under a special class or description. The validity period of learners license of 6 months.
- Learners license to drive a transport vehicle: It can not be given unless he drives a light motor vehicle for one year.
No person under the age of 18 years shall be granted a learners license to drive a motor vehicle without gear except in writing with person having care of person having the desire of learners license.
Test of competence to drive a vehicle: It would given in the vehicle specified to obtain the driving license.
- Power to revoke license: Licensing authority has power to revoke the license of medically unfit person. Automatic suspension of license by a person who has caused death or grievous hurt of one or more persons.
- Conditions under which licensing authority can revoke a license:
- Habitual criminal
- Addicted to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
- Has used or is using a motor vehicle in commissioning of offence
- Any fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining the DL
- Driving to cause danger to public on the basis of previous conduct
- A person under the age of 18 years who has been granted the learners license is at present not under the care of such guardian.
Laws relating to pedestrian:
Indian law under the motor vehicle act, 1988 and other related act provide for preventing the vehicles to run on footpaths. There are several acts that safeguard pedestrians rights indirectly.The Indian penal code (1860) sections 279, 304 ( punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), and 336 /337/338 protects the public, which includes pedestrians, against rash driving and negligence by motorists.
- the duty of the driver to slow down when approaching a pedestrian crossing(rule 8)
- that no driver can park a motor vehicle near a traffic light or on a pedestrian crossing or a footpath (rule 15)
- motor vehicles are not allowed to drive on the footpaths or cycle lane except with permission from the police officer on duty( rule 11).
The municipal corporation Acts also protects public roads and streets by terming all obstructions illegal unless they are made with prior permission of the collector. They are entitled to ascertain the footpath width of the public roads. under the persons with disabilities act 1995, the government must provide for authority signals, engraving on the zebra crossings, slopes in pavements for easy access of wheel chair, and warning signals at appropriate places.
By- Sandhyasri Kukkala