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Is it ’illegal’ to stand through a sunroof of a car while driving?

The car has always been a status symbol in society. In India, it is more about class upliftment, whereas in western societies it is more about personal freedom. Anyhow, cars have their own quirks and fancies quite like mobile phones. For example, smartphones. The last thing about a smartphone is the phone. Similarly, in today’s world, when we go to buy we want more than a car. We want a fancy music system. Or central control, or autonomic everything. And, the latest addition is the sunroof.

Imagine in comedian Zakir Khan’s voice, “sunroof zaruri hai, babu”.

The sunroof is a growing obsession of the Indians. You know what, every 3rd Hyundai car sold now has a sunroof feature because that’s what the customers want. Sunroofs were initially just available in a top-end variant on any car, but now they are available in mid-variants too. In case the of Hyundai, it has increased from 18% to 37%.

But, is it ‘illegal’ to stand through a sunroof?

Yes, it is. According to the Motor Vehicles Act, it is illegal. Basically, the act in section 184 (f) says, 

‘driving in any manner that falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver and where it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that manner would be dangerous, ‘

Read the Motor Vehicles Act

Hence, poking your head out the sunroof makes you liable for a fine, as incase of an accident the individual can be fatally injured. In addition, it can be a cause of nuisance and distraction for the people on the road.

Kolkata police are already fining people at least 1,000 rupees. 

Has that stopped people from ‘enjoying the breeze’? No. 

Jet Airways CEO, Sanjiv Kapoor is pointing out the same. He is taking the argument forward, and questioning the entire system for promoting such a dangerous activity.

Interestingly, people on Twitter are asking how is ‘poking their head out through the sunroof’ dangerous. That sums up Sanjiv Kapoor’s argument. The promotion of utter ignorance, in the guise of adventure, and newness.

These are not isolated events of injuries or accidents because of people are poking their heads out of sunroof. If you google search, you’d find numerous such incidents.

Road accidents are anyway one of the most frequent reasons by people die in India.


There are suggestions to connect the sunroof to the speedometer, and the sunroof only when the speed is below the ‘safe speed’. I am no-one to judge the viability and plausibility of these ideas, although from the primary understanding even this idea doesn’t seem that safe.

Being aware about safety, and long term consequences of your actions is crucial. Even, if that is not enough a reason then your actions on the road should not impact someone’s chances of life.

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