Road Safety Legislation

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

In 2014, Union Minister of Road, Transport and Highways announced a new legislation to replace the existing Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. In September 2014 the first draft of the Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2014 ("RTSB") was released with comprehensive provisions on safety standards for road users, roads and vehicles, and management of road safety in India. Later at a meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Members of the Parliament, several States opposed the RTSB fearing that they would lose rights to the collection of road tax. They also criticise the establishment of the National Road Safety Authority of India, which according to them, encroaches upon transport – a State subject. Due to the oppositions by several states the bill could not be passed in one of the houses of the parliament.

Later, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 1988 was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 15, 2019 by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The Bill seeks to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The Act provides provisions for grant of licenses and permits related to motor vehicles, standards for motor vehicles, and penalties for violation of these provisions. The Act regulates all aspects of road transport vehicles. It provides detailed guidelines on licensing of the drivers and conductors, registration of motor vehicles, the provision on controlling their permits, traffic regulations, related insurances, liabilities, and penalties.

Important Sections of MVA, 1988 Related to Road Safety

  • Sec. 3 Necessity for Driving License
  • Sec. 4 Age Limit in Connection with Driving of Motor Vehicles
  • Sec. 8 Grant of Learner’s License
  • Sec. 9 Grant of Driving License
  • Sec. 15 Renewal of Driving Licenses
  • Sec. 22 Suspension or Cancellation of Driving License on Conviction
  • Sec. 39 Necessity for Registration
  • Sec. 40 Registration, Where to be Made
  • Sec. 41 Registration, How to be Made
  • Sec. 46 Effectiveness in India of Registration
  • Sec. 53 Suspension of Registration
  • Sec. 55 Cancellation of Registration
  • Sec. 91 Restriction of Hours of Work of Drivers
  • Sec. 112 Limits of Speed
  • Sec. 128 Safety Measures for Drivers and Pillion Riders
  • Sec. 129 Wearing of Protective Headgear
  • Sec. 132 Duty of Driver to Stop in Certain Cases
  • Sec. 134 Duty of Driver in Case of Accident and Injury to a Person
  • Sec. 134 A Protection of Good Samaritans
  • Sec. 135 Schemes to be Framed for the Investigation of Accident Cases and Wayside Amenities, Etc.
  • Sec. 136 Inspection of Vehicle Involved in Accident
  • Sec. 146 Necessity for Insurance Against Third Party Risks
  • Sec. 147 Requirement of Policies and Limits of Liability
  • Sec. 149 Settlement by Insurance Company and Procedure Therefor
  • Sec. 159 Information to be Given Regarding Accident
  • Sec. 161 Special Provisions as to Compensation in Case of Hit And Run Motor Accident
  • Sec. 162 Scheme for Golden Hour
  • Sec. 164 Payment of Compensation in Case of Death or Grievous Hurt, etc.
  • Sec. 164 B Motor Vehicle Accident Fund
  • Sec. 215 Road Safety Councils And Committees
  • Sec. 215 B National Road Safety Board