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Motor Vehicles Act: Disability-Related Amendments

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Samyak Lalit
Samyak Lalit | March 28, 2021 (Last update: March 28, 2021)

Samyak Lalit is an author and disability rights activist. He is a polio survivor and the founder of projects like Kavita Kosh, Gadya Kosh, TechWelkin, WeCapable, Dashamlav and Viklangta Dot Com. Website: www.lalitkumar.in

The laws relating to ownership and operation of motor vehicles in India are contained in The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The laws have been subsequently amended by various amendment acts, the latest being the 2019 amendment act. Here we are listing important amendments in the motor vehicles act regarding persons with disabilities.

  • One of the important amendments is about terminology. Prior to Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 the term used for the vehicle altered for a person with disability used to be ‘Invalid Carriage’. Now, the amendment act has replaced invalid carriage with ‘adapted vehicle’.
    The act defines ‘Adapted Vehicle’ as a motor vehicle specially designed or constructed or to which alterations have been made under sub-section (2) of section 52 for the use of a person affected with a certain defect or disability and used solely by or for such person.
  • The amendment act states that ‘invalid carriage’ should be substituted by ‘adapted vehicle’ at all relevant places like clause (24) and (26) etc.
  • Amendment to Section 9 states that “a driving license for driving an adapted vehicle may be issued to the applicant if the licensing authority is satisfied that he is fit to drive such motor vehicle”.
  • To fit the need of a physically challenged person, the act makes alteration of vehicle mandatory. The altered vehicle must be registered in the name of the disabled person and must be used by her only.
  • Owners of a motor vehicle are now allowed to retrofit or alter their vehicle as per specifications laid down by the central government and in such case of alteration, the warranty granted by the manufacturer will not be void. The motor vehicle can be adapted for the use of a person with a disability.

The laws like making Aadhar mandatory for a driving license have also been introduced in the recent amendments. The fines for breaking road safety rules have been significantly increased along with the compensation amount for the death or injury of a person. Persons with Disabilities will also be impacted by such amendments. However, we have not discussed such provisions as they are not directly related to or exclusively applicable to Persons with Disabilities.

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One response to “Motor Vehicles Act: Disability-Related Amendments”

  1. Avatar Aarti K says:

    Is it necessary to obtain RTO permission before modification of vehicle? Under which section? If so can same vehicle have 2 time registration & 2 RC books?

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