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What Is Section 184 Of The Motor Vehicle Act? 184 MV Act Explained

TeamAckoJan 18, 2024

Did you know that India contributes to about 11% of global deaths from road accidents? About 1.5 million people lose their lives every year in the country because of this tragic reason, according to the FICCI-EY report. In order to prevent this absurd reason for the loss of precious lives, there are stringent laws in place in the country that penalise motorists who drive rashly. One such law is Section 184 Of The Motor Vehicle Act. Here is an in-depth look at the 184 MV Act.




Motor Vehicle Act 1988

In order to understand Section 184 Of The Motor Vehicle Act, it becomes imperative for us to have a look at the Motor Vehicle Act 1988 itself. The Motor Vehicle Act forms the legal backbone of the country’s road transportation system. It lays down the law for traffic management, fines, and punishments for traffic violations. The law is a massive piece of legislation and is divided into 14 chapters, which cover about 217 sections. Some of the major road traffic-related issues addressed by the Act include motor insurance, offences, penalties, control of traffic, control of transport vehicles, registration of motor vehicles, and licences, to name a few.

Section 184 of the Act is particularly relevant because it addresses penalties for reckless driving. Following the 2019 amendment, penalties under Section 184 Of Motor Vehicle Act became more severe, including imprisonment.

What Is Section 184 Of The Motor Vehicle Act?

Reckless driving endangers lives. It can put the lives of both the driver and pedestrians at risk and cause immeasurable grief to the families of those involved due to the carelessness of the driver in question. Section 184 Of The Motor Vehicle Act is a great way to keep dangerous driving in check. It hands out strong penalties to those who put their lives and the lives of others at risk due to dangerous driving.

Section 184 Of The Motor Vehicle Act takes a strict approach towards those who choose to drive dangerously.

The 184 MV Act stated originally:

Whoever drives a motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances of the case including the nature, condition and use of the place where the vehicle is driven and the amount of traffic which actually is at the time or which might reasonably be expected to be in the place, shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, and for any second or subsequent offence if committed within three years of the commission of a previous similar offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.

Here’s what is considered to be dangerous driving under the 184 MV Act:

  • Taking an important call or just mindlessly scrolling through Instagram when driving? Don’t! Using your mobile phone or any handheld device while driving is considered an offence

  • Jumped a red light? You can be booked under this section

  • Stopping when asked by the traffic authorities can spare you the wrath of this section

  • Violating a stop sign can also get you in trouble

  • Overtaking a vehicle in a wrongful manner is another violation

  • Causing inconvenience by driving against the flow of traffic is a transgression

  • Most importantly, driving dangerously enough to grievously hurt a person can land you in trouble

Before the 2019 amendment, this was the 184 MV Act fine amount:

You would have been fined INR 1000 for the first offence or sentenced to six months imprisonment for driving dangerously. If a second offence or more is committed within three years of the first one, it could either attract a fine of INR 2000, imprisonment for two years, or both. Clearly, this was not enough to stop the offences from taking place, so the Government of India passed an amendment in 2019 that increased the 184 MV Act fine amounts and penalties.

184 MV Act fine amount after the 2019 amendment:

Under the new amendments, you could be fined up to INR 5000, or be sent to prison for up to a year for the first offence under the 184 MV Act. For any offence committed within three years from the first one, a fine of up to INR 10000 can be imposed, or it could lead to imprisonment of up to two years or both. Compensation limits for accident victims have also been set. If the injuries caused are severe, then INR 2.5 lakhs will have to be given to the victim, and if the accident turns fatal, then INR 5 lakhs will have to be paid as compensation. Increasing the 184 MV Act fine amount and the prison sentence was done to send a clear message to those who violate traffic rules that their transgressions will not be tolerated.


As per the Motor Vehicle Act 1988, if you'd like to drive a motor vehicle on Indian roads, third-party bike or car insurance is an absolute must. Accidents do happen on the road, even after taking all sorts of precautions. On top of the emotional distress of being in a road accident, there can be a huge monetary loss attached to it, depending on the magnitude of the accident. A third-party insurance policy can protect your bank account when an accident does occur. The "third party" as per the insurance policy, is the person, vehicle, or property that has suffered damage through the insured’s automobile.

Driving serves the purpose of getting us from one place to another and can also be a pleasurable experience. But Indian roads are far from safe for pedestrians and drivers alike. Though there are laws in place, like Section 184 Of The Motor Vehicle Act, to punish the guilty and compensate the victims, it falls upon the individual to maintain discipline while on the road to eliminate the loss of innocent lives and damage to property. Let us drive responsibly and save lives in the bargain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the frequently asked questions on What Is Section 184 Of The Motor Vehicle Act?


What is the fine for violating Section 184 MV Act?

184 MV Act fine amount was originally INR 1000 for a first offence and INR 2000 for repeat offences. The jail time was six months for first-time offenders and two years for repeat offenders. The 184 MV Act was amended in 2019 and increased the fine and jail time for offences. First-time offenders were expected to pay INR 5000 and repeat offenders could be fined INR 10000. Jail time was increased to one year for a first offence.

What is Section 184 of the Vehicles Act?

Section 184 Of Motor Vehicle Act takes action against those who violate traffic rules through rash or dangerous driving. It imposes heavy fines and imprison sentences on those who violate traffic rules such as jumping red lights, not stopping when traffic authorities ask you to pull over, violating a stop sign, using a handheld device when driving, or driving dangerously enough to endanger a person.

What is the new amendment to MV Act 184?

The new amendments to Section 184 Of Motor Vehicle Act were enacted in 2019. This led to an increase in the 184 MV Act fine amount to INR 2000 (from INR 1000 previously) for first-time offenders and INR 10000 (from INR 2000 previously) for repeat offenders. It also increased the jail time served to one year (from six months before the amendment) for first-time offenders.

How does the 184 MV Act punish those who obstruct the movement of emergency vehicles like an ambulance?

Obstruction of emergency service vehicles like an ambulance or a fire truck can attract a penalty of INR 10000 under the 184 MV Act.


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