Home Traffic Guidelines & Fines What is the penalty for Driving Oversized Vehicles without permission in India?

What is the penalty for Driving Oversized Vehicles without permission in India?

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Overloading a vehicle beyond its maximum permitted limit is an illegal offence. It’s also potentially dangerous for both the driver and other road users, so the legal consequences for both drivers and operators can be serious and far-reaching.

There’s a lot to consider, though. Weight limits don’t just apply to the total vehicle payload. Each axle has its own weight limit, too, so you’ll need to do some careful calculations to ensure you’re not exceeding either the axle weight limit or the total limit for the type of vehicle you’re driving. On top of all this, you must ensure the load is accurately distributed.

It’s easy to see how mistakes could be made, so what are the risks of overloading a van and what penalties could you face?

What are the risks of an overloaded van?

We’ll be talking about vans in this article, but weight limits don’t just apply to commercial vehicles. In fact, maximum payloads apply to every type of vehicle – vans and lorries, cars and other passenger vehicles such as buses – and broadly speaking they share the same dangers and consequences, too.

Safety risks

An overloaded vehicle, or a payload that isn’t distributed correctly over the axles, behaves much differently on the road.

  • The extra weight or uneven distribution of the load means you’ll need longer braking distances
  • Steering is heavier, giving you less control
  • The vehicle is slower to react in an emergency
  • Excess weight on the tyres increases instability and steering problems

In short, taking evasive action is more difficult, increasing the risk of being involved in an accident, injury or death for you or other road users.

Other impacts

There are many other reasons to avoid an overloaded vehicle:

  • Extra weight leads to heavier fuel consumption, increasing a vehicle’s running costs
  • More wear and tear on the engine, and a shorter vehicle life-span
  • Extra strain on the suspension, tyres, brakes and engine increase a vehicle’s maintenance costs
  • Costs can arise from having to repair a vehicle following an accident
  • Delayed or missed deliveries mean lost revenue to a business until the vehicle is released (also at a cost)
  • Fines, penalty notices, or prosecutions arising from roadside stops and inspections
  • An overloaded vehicle invalidates an insurance policy, incurring all sorts of legal problems
  • Damage to a company’s reputation
  • Roads and bridges have to be repaired at tax-payers’ expense, as they break down under the weight.

What are the penalties for an overloaded van?

Police have the power to stop and inspect a commercial vehicle at any time to check that it’s not overloaded. They can also check that axle weight limits aren’t being exceeded and that payload distribution is acceptable. Failing any of these checks can result in a range of penalties, including:

The legislation provides for stricter punishment for various traffic related offences as well as higher penalties, including a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for death and Rs 2.5 lakh for grievous injury in a motor vehicle accident case.

It proposes Rs 10,000 fine for not giving way to emergency vehicles and Rs 10,000 for driving despite disqualification. Aggregators violating driving licences will be fined up to Rs 1 lakh.
The bill includes penalties in the range of Rs 1,000- 2,000 for over-speeding.
Vehicle without permit: Penalty for use of a vehicle without permit has been proposed at Rs 10,000. Overloading of vehicles would attract a penalty of Rs 20,000 and Rs 2,000 per extra tone. Meanwhile, overloading of passengers will attract a penalty of Rs 1,000 per extra passenger.

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