Popping Out of Moving Car’s Sunroof Can Land You in Jail- Know the Law

This Article is for those who enjoy the thrill of feeling the breeze through their hair by standing through a car’s sunroof. Do You know that this could lead to severe penalties by law enforcement agencies.

While the primary use of a sunroof is to enhance natural light in the vehicle’s cabin or to improve air flow without the need to lower the windows, it is often exploited for the joy of popping out while driving, especially by children eager for an elevated view. This misuse not only contradicts the intended purpose of the feature but also poses significant safety risks.

Due to frequent incidents of road accidents caused by careless driving, stringent measures have been included in the Motor Vehicles Act, including Section 188, aimed at curbing such negligence. Despite these provisions, the lack of discipline among drivers prompted the government to amend several sections of the Motor Vehicle Act in 2019, introducing significant changes.

The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, designed to penalize rule violations and provide guidelines for traffic management, covers all types of motor vehicles. It includes provisions for licensing, vehicle registration, traffic management, motor insurance, liabilities, and penalties. 

Section 184 of the act specifically addresses “dangerous driving.” According to this section, driving at speeds exceeding the prescribed limits, thereby endangering other vehicles or pedestrians, can result in a fine of at least Rs 5,000.

Furthermore, if careless driving endangers the lives of others on the road, the act provides for a minimum sentence of 1 year. Repeat offenses within three years can lead to a sentence of up to 2 years or an increased fine of Rs 10,000 or more. Section 184 also considers the vehicle’s geographical location, weather conditions, and traffic situation at the time of the offense.

Violations that can invoke Section 184 include:

– Running red lights.

– Using mobile phones or other handheld devices while driving.

– Failing to stop the vehicle when instructed by traffic authorities.

– Overtaking vehicles improperly.

– Driving in the opposite direction of traffic.

– Endangering the lives of others through reckless driving.

Section 184 (f) which states, ” Driving in any manner that falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver and where it would be obvious that driving in that manner would be dangerous would be punishable.”, would also cover the act of poking head out of sunroof while the vehicle is in motion.

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Regarding the use of sunroofs, the Motor Vehicle Act doesn’t explicitly mention them, but penalties for endangering lives due to negligence are clear. Traffic police have begun imposing fines from Rs 1,000 to 10,000 for people found violating Section 184 (F) by sticking out of sunroofs, as seen in many cases. This indicates that such violations can lead to fines anywhere in the country, as they fall under the category of dangerous driving and jeopardizing others’ safety. Thus, it’s crucial to be mindful of this when using a sunroof.

Notably, section 177 of the MVA also empowers police to book cases for offences, which are not particularly defined or described.


Dr. Rajat Rajan Singh

Editor-in Chief at Law Trend


Advocate at Allahabad High Court. Sitting at Lucknow

Mob: 9839773999

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