- Date : 02/10/2020
- Read: 3 mins
You can leave your documents at home and lawfully use a mobile phone while driving, thanks to these traffic rule changes.
A series of amendments have been made in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989, which will be applicable from 1 October 2020. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) recently issued an official notification that stressed on the implementation of electronic monitoring and IT-enabled enforcement of traffic rules. The move is aimed to improve law enforcement without causing unnecessary trouble to vehicle users.
Physical verification of documents will no longer be required if the vehicle documents are validated electronically. The revocation and disqualification data against driving licences will be maintained in the portal. The portal will also record the date and timestamp of any inspection of document done by police or other authorised people. This is expected to eliminate rechecking and inspection of vehicles whose records have already been documented in the portal. Besides, it will also relieve drivers from unwanted harassment.
Drivers can store their documents online on government apps such as DigiLocker and mParivahan.
The notification also mandated that mobile phones and similar handheld communication devices should be used only for route navigation. Further, such use shouldn’t interfere with the driver’s attention while driving. The ministry confirmed amendments that have been made in the Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations 2017 to align with these changes in electronic documentation and use of handheld devices.
How will the enforcement of traffic rules in India be affected?
The implementation of electronic enforcement and maintenance of electronic documents online is expected to reduce the harassment of drivers and vehicle owners. There will be a chronological update of licence disqualification and revocation on the government portal. Vehicular documents that are validated through recognised electronic means will not require physical verification. The fine for use of mobile phone while driving will not apply to proper use of the device for navigation purposes.
How to use the government’s authorised vehicular apps?
You can show your vehicular documents stored in DigiLocker or mParivahan app to the traffic police. This digital copy will be considered sufficient for document verification and inspection under traffic rules in India. Digital documents like scanned copies of driving licence, registration certificate, and insurance will, however, not be accepted for this purpose. Notably, the penalty for driving without a licence was increased from Rs 500 to Rs 5000 last year.
How will e-challans work in India?
In case of any traffic violation, the vehicle details are obtained from the Road Transport Office (RTO) and a text message is sent to the concerned person informing them of the offence. The fine can be paid online by following the link provided in the message. The respective state government portal created for this purpose will accept the payment. You can contest the case if you are convinced that you have been wrongfully penalised. Payment can also be made at the RTO or in cash/card at the place of the default.
What is the present rule on the use of phones while driving?
Use of mobile phone while driving can attract a fine of Rs 1000 to Rs 5000. The ministry has now allowed the use of handheld devices for route navigation; however, this is allowed only if such use doesn’t affect the concentration level of the driver. If you have bought a new car, here's a piece for you to know what to do next!