Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

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An extra-ordinary attention is required for all persons plying vehicles on the road. In India, the Fatal Accidents Act of 1855 was passed to give rights to the person injured or expired in an accident. The Fatal Accidents Act 1855 provided for the procedure and the named person’s right to claim compensation from the negligent person.

Additionally, in 1939, the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 was introduced to consolidate the law relating to motor vehicles. Concepts such as third party insurance, unlimited liability of insurance companies, no-fault liability were introduced. But with the advent of new technologies, fast life and increasing traffic on the road, it was necessary to be accompanied by strict provisions for road safety and compensation for victims, which led to the introduction of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988.

Objectives of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

  • Take care of the growing number of commercial and personal vehicles in the country.
  • Encourage the adoption of advanced technology in the automotive sector.
  • Maintain road safety standards, pollution control measures and establish standards for the transportation of hazardous and explosive materials.
  • Define effective means of tracking down traffic violations.
  • Set the start-up procedure for granting and renewing driving licenses.
  • Set the effective standard for standardized pollution control devices.

Licensing of the Drivers of Motor Vehicles

  • A person may only drive a motor vehicle in any public place when a driving license is issued to him by the competent authority.
  • No one under the age of eighteen may drive a motor vehicle in a public place.
  • A person can ride a motorcycle with a engine capacity of up to 50 cc after reaching the age of sixteen.

Currency of the License

  • The learner’s license will be in effect for a period of six months from the date of issue.
  • License to drive a transport vehicle – 3 years.
  • License to drive a transport vehicle transporting dangerous or hazardous goods – 1 year.
  • In any other case, until the person turns 50.
  • After 50 years – Renewal for 5 years.

Power of licensing authority

Revoke the holder’s license in the following cases: –

  • The holder is a habitual criminal or habitual drunkard.
  • The holder is a habitual addict of any narcotic or psychotropic substance.
  • The holder uses or has used a motor vehicle in connection with the commission of a Cognizable offense.
  • Holder by his previous driving as a driver of a motor vehicle has shown that his driving is likely to present a danger to the public.
  • The holder has obtained a driver’s license by fraud or false declaration for which the information provided was not correct.
  • The holder has committed such an act likely to cause nuisance or danger to the public.
  • The holder has not submitted or has not passed the required tests.