Important sections related to road accident

OVERVIEW

Important sections related to road accident

Index:

Introduction
What is the meaning of Negligent and Rash Driving?
Driving under the influence of alcohol is acceptable and punished:
Conclusion

Introduction

India ranks first, but not in terms of women's safety, gross domestic product (GDP), or even sanitation or education, but in "road accidents" and even more so in car accidents. The drivers seem unconcerned. He considers himself "the king of all" whom he examines. Heavy drinking leads to reckless driving, causing other people to become victims of car accidents. This includes the feeling of 'not being safe' among the poor. Normally at least one traffic accident news is found in the daily news. Depending on the severity of the incident, the number of victims and the damage can be pretty worrying. Many innocent lives are lost in road accidents, and along with this, there is a lot of loss of life and property.

Road accidents have rapidly increased with more motor vehicles in India over the past several years. Road injuries and car accident deaths have become a major public issue as it is one of the leading causes of mortality and permanent disability.

What is the meaning of Negligent and Rash Driving?

It is considered an offence when driving or driving a vehicle without following the road safety rules. However, a little overspeeding does not count as reckless or rash driving. If the driver can control the vehicle at high speed or the road on which it is moving is empty, it is not considered negligent or rash driving; however, if a person is recklessly driving on public roads and is likely to endanger other people's lives, guilty under section 279 of the IPC.

However, just speeding does not mean rash driving. When the driver can control the vehicle's speed or when the road seems empty, the driver's actions do not amount to rash and negligent driving. However, sometimes, even on highways, the speed limit is fixed by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, which is relatively higher. The offence of negligent driving under section 279 of IPC for driving a driver at high speed will not be held liable. But if any person goes a vehicle on the road without due care and attention, he shall be guilty of committing an offence under this Section.

For Traffic accidents related Sections: ( On Public Roads )

  • Section 279–336 IPC: Rash or negligent driving may endanger the life and property of the people.
  • Section 279–337 IPC: Rash or careless driving causing superficial injury to any other person.
  • Section 279–338 IPC: Rash or negligent driving causes grievous injury to any other person.
  • Section 279–304-A IPC: Rash or negligent driving causing the death of any other person.

Some lawful acts also attract criminal action when the person is negligent in performing that Act. That is also called an accident. For Example, a construction worker falls from the 8th floor of the under-construction building and dies. The Contractor and or the builder is booked u/s 304-A IPC for rash or negligent Act as he or they did not ensure worker safety by complying with safety measures like giving the worker safety belts, no safety officer appointed, etc.

Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code: Rash driving or riding in a public way

  • Section 279 of the Indian Penal Code states that Whoever drives, or rides, any vehicle on a public way. Hence, rash or negligently endangers human life or is likely to cause injury or injury to any other person. He shall be punished with six months' imprisonment, or the Court may impose a fine of one thousand rupees, or with both.
  • While driving, one should be very careful as your single laxity can send you behind bars. When a person negligently drives a vehicle or drives at speed likely to cause injury to or is expected to cause injury to any is liable under section 279 of the IPC.
  • An offence punishable under section 279 of the IPC is a cognizable offence where the police can arrest any person without a warrant.

Section 337 of the Indian Penal Code: Injury by act endangering the life or personal safety of others

This Section provides for causing hurt by acts endangering the life or personal safety of others. The Section says, "Whoever causes injury to any person by doing any act so hastily or recklessly as to endanger human life or the personal safety of others, in this situation the Court shall give punished of six months, or the Court may impose fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or punished with both."

  • This Section talks about the endangering of human life and the personal safety of others by doing any act negligently or rashly. Still, it does not describe the nature of the Act, so it covers a vast area of the Act and hence can also be included in road driving. 
  • For Example, the same boy, X, is driving at high speed and passes an older man suffering from heart disease. Frightened by the sudden passing of a speeding bike, the older man suffers a heart attack. Also, since he is heart disease, X's actions endanger the older man's life. 
  • Thus, X is punished under section 337. This Section is classified as bailable, cognizable, and compoundable by the person who has caused the injury, with the permission of the Court.

Section 338 of the Indian Penal Code: Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others

This Section states that "Whoever causes grievous hurt to any person by doing any act so hastily or recklessly as to endanger human life or the personal safety of others, then the court may punish with impris¬onment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or the Court may impose a fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or the Court may punish with both." 

  • For Example, a truck driver recklessly takes a wrong turn and hits a rickshaw driver, and the rickshaw driver gets profound wounds on his body; The driver is liable under section 338 for causing grievous hurt.
  • The Section is again classified as bailable, cognizable, and compoundable by the person who has caused the injury, with the permission of the Court. If the accused person inflicts grievously treatable injury or even incurable, the same provision for punishment is followed.

Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code: Death by negligence

The Section says, "Whoever by negligence or negligence causes the death of any person, which amounts to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, in this case, the Court may be punished the accused with imprisonment for two years, or the Court may impose with fine, or with both."

  • Now, if we look at the accidental death report released by the NCRB, the number of accidental deaths has also increased disproportionately, as the Act is an 'accident,' so the offender does not get the punishment he deserves. 
  • And besides, the maximum number of accidents are 'hidden murders.' Most of the time, it is proved that the death resulted from the driver's negligence, but as we all know, it is easier to commit murder this way.
  • Furthermore, if the death caused is indeed an act of negligence, the penalty should be much more significant. Section 304A of the Code has been classified as bailable, cognizable, and non-compoundable. There is a famous saying in Hindi, "Jaan hai to jahaan hai," but this proverb loses its value when the punishment for taking life is up to two years, and that too is in bailable form. 

Driving under the influence of alcohol is acceptable and punished:

  • As a driver, one must know the permissible alcohol limit. Any individual whose blood alcohol above 30 MG/ 100 ML of blood is spotted in a particular test done by a breath analyzer is considered a case of drink and drive under the effect of alcohol. 
  • The same will also apply to any individual under the impact of drugs to such a level that makes them incompetent of reasonable control over the motor vehicle.
  • As a responsible citizen in India, you must not follow drinking and driving rules. Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 - Section 185 makes drinking and driving in India illegal and punishable under the Indian Penal Court. 
  • With this Act, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for the first time shall be punished with six months' police custody and/or with a fine which may extend to Rs.2000. If the same offence is repeated within three years, the offence shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for two years and/or Rs.3000/-.

Punishment has increased after the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016:

  • The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016 has been approved by the Union Cabinet. The bill aims to improve road safety and provide higher fines for drunken driving. Under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016, the fine for drunk driving has been increased from Rs 2000 to Rs 10,000.

If a driver is found guilty under the Motor Vehicles Act

185, he will face imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of ₹10,000 on the 185 Motor Vehicles Act. For the latter offences, the punishment is imprisonment of up to two years, and MV Act 185 a fine of ₹15,000, or both. Earlier, the penalty of the 185 MV Act was ₹2,000 for the first offence and ₹3,000 for the subsequent offence. This was extended in 2019 through the Motor Vehicles Act 2019.

Further, specifically to section 185 of the MV Act, drugs prescribed by the Central Government shall be deemed incapable of exercising reasonable control over a motor vehicle. And the driver can be held liable for an offence under section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act: Dangerously driving a vehicle. Under this, there is a provision of imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of ₹ 1,000, or both for the first time. For subsequent offences, the imprisonment term is up to two years, a fine of ₹2,000, or both.

Conclusion:

India ranks first when we talk about the countries with the highest number of road accidents in the world. Having or not having a law is the same as the cases of road accidents are increasing at an alarming rate. Road accidents and mortality have emerged as an essential public concern as it is one of the leading causes of death and permanent disability in this country. This is because people are no longer afraid of laws. It is high time for lawmakers to examine, investigate, reevaluate and re-examine the punishment policy in sections related to accidents in the Indian Penal Code to curb the rising rate of deaths and make Indian roads safer.

To read this article in Hindi: road accident

We hope you liked our written blogs. You can also read blogs on other legal topics available on our website. You can view our services by visiting our website. If you want any Civil or Criminal guidance or help of any Lawyer regarding the matter, You may reach us via mail at help@vakilkaro.co.in or call us at  +91 9828123489  to resolve any legal problem.

VakilKaro is a Best Legal Services Providers Company, which provides Civil, Criminal & Corporate Laws Services and Registration Services like Private Limited Company Registration, LLP Registration, Nidhi Company Registration, Microfinance Company Registration, Section 8 Company Registration, NBFC Registration, Trademark Registration, 80G & 12A Registration, Niti Aayog Registration, FSSAI Registration, and other related Legal Services. 

About The Auhor : VakilKaro

Vakilkaro is an online Platform and Provides Legal Services across India like Corporate laws, Civil laws, Criminal Laws, etc.