NEW DELHI: Beware. Drunk driving, talking on mobile phone while driving, jumping red light will cost more and even land you in jail.
The Centre on Thursday approved the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act for stringent punishments for offences like drunken driving and violation of traffic rules and also increased compensation in accident cases.
The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the five-fold increase in penalties under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act likely to be introduced in the forthcoming Budget session of Parliament.
The amendment also proposes to provide more powers to states to limit and regulate contract carriage on city routes with prior permission of the Centre, an official said.
It also proposed delegating more powers to states for issuing driving licences, registration cards, fitness certificates, grant of permits and disposal of appeals.
A time line for issuing of licenses, registration cards, permits and fitness certificates is also proposed to be fixed.
As per the proposals, using the mobile phone in any form while driving would attract penalty. It means that not only talking on phone but sending text messages and using hands free mobile instruments would be considered an offence.
The fine has been enhanced for using mobile phones while driving to Rs 500 for first offence and Rs 2,000-5,000 for subsequent instances.
The fine for jumping the red light is also proposed to be increased from Rs 100 to Rs 100-500 for first offence and from Rs 300 to Rs 300-1, 500 for the second.
In the case of drunk driving, the fine will range from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 and imprisonment from six months to four years. However, it depends on the alcohol quantity in the blood.
In cases, where alcohol level is 30 mg per 100 ml of blood, it would not amount to an offence.
If it is between 30-60 mg per 100 ml of blood, then the proposed penalty would be six months of imprisonment and/or Rs 2,000 fine.