Motor vehicle came on road for the first time in 1885 in England. The first motor vehicle was imported in India in1889.Gradually motor vehicle started coming into India but mainly concentrated in the provincial towns of Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Punjab and United provinces during the first decade of the century. The steady flow necessitated the respective province to enact their own localized Motor Vehicle Act. Six acts were promulgated by provincial government. These acts were in forced up to 1915.The first enactment to regulate motor vehicle throughout India was Motor Vehicle Act 1914.It contained 19 sections in five parts. There was no classification of motor vehicles, as motor transport was just started. Only registration of motor vehicle and to obtain license by motor drivers was made compulsory. These acts were continued to be in forced till1939. The rapid growth in the number of motor vehicles after the First World War necessitates looking into a fresh for further tightening of plying of motor vehicles in India. This is more so as the road transport started making in roads to compete to the monopoly of Indian railways in the transportation of goods and people in the country. So after the First World War the military vehicles which were rendered surplus were diverted to civilian market. By the last part of 1920’s there was large number of vehicles appearing in several parts of Country. The growth was unprecedented. The tremendous growth of motor vehicles made the conditions of road very bad. In 1927 government of India appointed a committee which recommends for creation of Central Road fund. During the period of Second World War the road development speed was increase. But the expenditure was made mainly on roads which was important for military movement. In the last part of 1920’s the problems of unhealthy competition become more acute. Commenting upon the state of affairs in the road transport industry at the time, the committee observed the evils from the public sector motor transport is heavily suffering are largely due to unemployment, the excessive competition among the Buses and their routes. In any event, they believed that a control monopoly will be necessary to encourage enterprises on less popular route. Hence the committee recommends that:

  • The number of license for buses on any route should be restricted.
  • That the conditions, such as issue of time table, publications of schedules of fare should be fulfilled.

Compulsory insurance of motor vehicle should also be prescribed. Here it is observed that the committee was form due to unhealthy competitions between road and rail transport.

Considering the recommendations from various committees, government of India has enacted a new statute in 1939; entitled motor vehicle Act of 1939.The started purpose of this legislation was to regulate road transport on the basis of healthy competition in the industry itself and with the railways. This Act is an endorsement of the potential need of motor transport in carrying people and goods for hire or reward. This legislation, which is in force today, though with a host of amendment added from time to time provided for creation of Regional and State Transport Authorities with full powers to grant permits for stage carries. It also laid down the conditions pertaining to routes, timings, specifications of vehicles, standards of maintenance. The Act 1939 was amended several times to keep it up to date. It was necessary to change the entire Act due to changes in the road transport technology, pattern of passengers and freight movements, development of road network in the country and particularly the improved techniques in
the motor vehicle management. Working group was constituted in January 1984 to review all the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act 1939.After coming into force of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988, government received a number of representation and suggestions from the state government and transport operators and members of the public regarding the inconveniences faced by them because of the operation of some of the provisions of the 1988 Act. A review committee was constituted by the government to examine and review of the 1988 Act. This Act was amended in 1994, 2000 and 2001 with the important suggestions from transport development council.
Various committees like National Transport policy committee, National
Police commission, Road safety committee and also the law commission have gone into different aspects of the road transport. They recommended updating, simplification of this law. The member of the parliament also urged for comprehensive review of the act to make it relevant to the modern day requirement.

The present day Central Motor Vehicle Act of India 2002 contained 217 sections which have separate chapters to deal different requirements as follow.

Section 1 and 2 are for short titles and definitions.

Section 3 to 28 is connected with the Licensing of drivers of motor vehicles. (Driving License).

Section 29 to 38 is connected with the licensing of conductors of the stage carriage (Bus conductors license).

Section 39 to 65 deals the registrations of the Motor Vehicles of all kinds.

Section 66 to 96 deals the control of transport vehicles (grant of permit etc of commercial vehicles).

Section 97 to108 are connected to special provisions relating to state transport undertakings.

Section 109 to 111 is connected with the construction, equipment and maintenance of the vehicles.

Section 112 to 138 is in connection with the control of traffic.

Section 139 deals the motor vehicles temporarily leaving or visiting India (power of central Govt.)

Section 140 to 144 deals the liability without fault in certain cases.

Section 145 to 164 deals the insurance of vehicle against third party risks.

Section 165 to 176 is connected with the claims and tribunals.

Section177 to 210 deals the offences, penalties and procedure.

Section 211 to 217-A are for Publication, Notification, Appointment, Road safety committee and councils, renewal and registration under motor vehicle act 1939. The Directorate of Road Transport Department, which bifurcated from Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Services in the year 1995-96 control those activities in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Sarathi AND Vahan:

These are implemented and enforced by the Motor Vehicle Inspectors and Enforcements Inspectors with DTOs in the District. Therefore, here the District Transport Officer or the Regional transport Officers posted in districts deals the following activities relating to vehicles under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner who is also the Chairman of Regional Transport Authority, of a district. Due to rapid advent of computer technologies, the Ministry of Road and surface transport and shipping, government of India had started computerization of transport offices all over the country by software called Sarathi and Vahan developed and designed by national Informatics Centre, Delhi at the free of cost for the use of Transport Department. “Sarathi” is for issue of licenses and “Vahan” is for registration of Motor vehicle including its tax structure and permit system. Hence the personal presence of candidate during the issue of learners and conductor licenses is mandatory for Photography, biometry signature and thump impression capture. For successful implementation of this transport project, Sarathi and Vahan, the District Informatics Officer (DIO) Siang District is often monitoring the work site.