Thick Brush Stroke

Section 161 of the Motor Vehicles Act defines hit-and-run as "an accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle(s) the identity of which cannot be ascertained despite reasonable efforts for the purpose."

Hit-and-run  Definition

Thick Brush Stroke

The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 contains provisions that severely penalise those who cause hit-and-run accidents. Victims of hit-and-run accidents are subject to IPC sections 279, 304A, and 338.

Punishment in a hit-and-run case

Anyone who recklessly drives a vehicle on a public road may be charged with violating Sec 279. For reckless driving or injuring another person on the road, a driver can face 6 months in prison, a Rs 1000 fine, or both. Sec 279 offences are bailable and are cognizable by the district magistrate.

The crime is reported under Section 304A if a driver who is not under the influence of alcohol causes the death of another person in an accident. The rider faces a year in prison, which can be extended to two years, a fine of more than Rs 1000, or both. 304A is a non-bailable offence with a life sentence if convicted.

In exceptional circumstances, the police may also file a hit-and-run case under Section 302, which is connected to the murder. A driver arrested in accordance with Section 302 may face the death sentence or a life sentence.

When minors are engaged in such incidents, the law sentences the parents of the minor to three years in prison as well as hefty fines.

The rise in compensation for hit-and-run victims under Section 161 of the Act is shown in the table below:

Old  compensation


new  compensation

Death of the  victim

Rs. 25000

Rs. 200000

Bodily Injury of  the victim

Rs. 12500

Rs. 50000



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