If you are a two-wheeler or four-wheeler driver in India, then at least once in your life, you will be stopped by the traffic police.
There is nothing much to worry if you are stopped by traffic police, but there are some rights that as a commuter you should know:
1. Traffic police are required to carry a challan book or e-challan machine in order to penalise you. Without having any of these, the police cannot penalise you.
2. If you are stopped by a traffic police, usually the first thing is that you must stop your vehicle and produce documents required by the officer. Remember you are only required to show the driving license to the police. It is completely your choice if you want to hand over the documents or not. 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.
3. You must avoid an argument with the police and cooperate. In case if you have made any mistake, just explain it to the police and they might even let you go.
4. You can be penalised for jumping a red light, improper and obstructive parking, driving without helmet, overspeeding, smoking in the vehicle, not displaying number plate, driving without a license, a vehicle without registration, valid insurance or valid pollution under control certificate are all offences under Motor Vehicles Act.
5. Never succumb to illegal demands of the police. Do not attempt to bribe the traffic police. Note down the buckle number and his name. In case if he is not wearing his buckle, ask him for his identity card. If he refuses to give you his identity card you can refuse to give him documents.
6. If the police officer is an officer of rank sub-inspector or above then you can settle the offence by paying the fine.
7. In case if you are driving without license or permit, police may detain your vehicle. Police may also detain your vehicle if it is not registered.
8. Without a valid receipt, traffic police cannot take away your driving license. Your driving license can be seized if you jump the red light, overloading, drunken driving and using the mobile phone while driving.
9. Traffic police cannot tow your car as long as you are sitting in it. You have to vacate your vehicle before they can tow your car.
10. If you are detained by traffic police for the offence then you must be produced before the magistrate within 24 hours, for the trial.
11. If traffic police harass you then you can file a complaint with the police, stating the particulars of the entire incident.
In case if a prosecution slip or challan is issued to you, ensure it contains the following details-
- Name and address of the court where the offence will be trialled
- Details of the offence committed
- Date of trial
- Vehicle details
- Name and address of the offender
- Name and signature of the challaning officer
- Details of the documents retained
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