KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Your car is stuck in traffic and you are getting late for a meeting. To make things worse, it starts raining. You’ve stopped twice at the same traffic signal and looks like you are going to stop the third time. Finally, you scratch ahead, the signal turns green and you accelerate. However, you are stopped by a traffic police officer for a regular check
This can be extremely frustrating but you need to stay calm and deal with the situation. You have to cooperate with the officer but at the same time know your rights as well. It is important to follow traffic rules or else face traffic fines in the form of a traffic challan.
Your Traffic Rights:
- In order to penalize you, the traffic police officer must possess a traffic challan book. If not a traffic challan book then an E traffic challan machine.
- Section 130 of the Motor Vehicle Act categorically states that the driver of a motor vehicle in any public place shall on demand by any police officer in uniform produce his license for examination. As you can see the law only says, “produce” and not hand over.
- Do not indulge in bribing the police officer. Do not encourage such acts. Pay the fine if you are at fault but do not contribute in increasing the country’s corruption level.
- If you have any doubts regarding the authenticity of the police official, you can politely ask for the officer’s identification card.
- Your vehicle can be detained if you are not following the law of the land. It can be detained if you do not have a valid driving license/permit or a registration certificate.
- If the traffic police officer detains your driving license, he has to offer you a valid receipt in exchange. Your driving license can be taken away if you are caught in drink and drive case or talking on the phone while driving.
- If you are detained by the traffic police, you need to appear before the magistrate in less than 24 hours for your trial.
- In case you are being harassed by the traffic police, you have the right to file an official complaint. You can file a complaint at the police station and state the relevant details.
- The challan handed to you must mention your offence and your details, officer’s details, and the details of the court in which the trial will be held. It should also mention which documents have been detained.
Powers of a Traffic Police:
- Traffic police is empowered to demand your driving license and inspect other necessary vehicle documents such as a registration certificate, insurance certificate, valid PUC certificate and a fitness permit. It is pertinent to carry the original documents and produce them when demanded. Failure on your part might lead to fine or arrest and court proceedings.
- He/She may impound your driving license and other vehicle documents if deemed necessary. Such police officer shall give to the person surrendering the license a temporary acknowledgement receipt. Such receipt shall authorise the holder to drive until the license has been returned or until such date specified in the acknowledgement receipt.
- A traffic officer is an absolute authority on a road. If he/ she gives you instructions, it is your duty to obey them, regardless of the electronic traffic signals.
- A police officer is empowered to seize and detain your vehicle if you are driving without your license, permits, and certificates or if your vehicle is not registered.
- A police officer in a uniform may arrest you without a warrant if you are found in his/her presence committing an offence such as driving dangerously or under influence of alcohol or using a vehicle without authority.
Provision of fine for two different offences:
Another thing that needs to be kept in mind is that for two separate offences at the same time, the penalty for it is distinct like for overtaking and smoking inside a vehicle, traffic police can fine you Rs. 100 for each offence that is the total of Rs. 200. There are two types of penalties;
- On spot fine: It is done when you break any Traffic rule and are not in a condition to pay the challan amount then the police will seize your license.
- Notice Challan: If someone has broken the rules and ran away from police or police could not stop the vehicle then police notes down his number and sends a challan to his place