Motor Vehicles Act: States opposing hefty traffic fines, details here
New Delhi, Sep 12: Ever since the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act came into force on 1 September, many states across the country have decided to slash them in their respective jurisdictions on "humanitarian" grounds.
Social media is abuzz with tons of memes and jokes on these heavy traffic penalties, and there is a sort of uproar against the new traffic rules.
Amidst this chaos, Gujarat has become the first state to defy the Centre's new traffic rules, and have amended their own traffic laws, to reduce the penalties upto 90% in some cases.
Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, which came into effect on September 1, made several far-reaching changes on existing traffic penalty charts. In the days that followed, an autorickshaw driver in Bhubaneswar was fined Rs. 47,500 for violating several traffic rules; a truck owner from Rajasthan had to pay up Rs. 1,41,000 for overloading his vehicle; and a Delhi resident - angered over being fined by a traffic policeman -took the drastic step of setting his motorcycle on fire.
Who is opposing the act and why?
Other states such as Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Goa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan and Delhi are among the few states who have called out the revised fines under the tightened laws.
- Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday said the state will be relaxing the fines for traffic rules violations like the Gujarat government did.
- Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee refused to implement the hefty fines under the Act in West Bengal saying it will "overburden people".
- Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said he urged the government to reconsider and reduce the fines prescribed under the Act.
- Rajasthan Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas had said the state government is considering to provide practical relief to violators of the amended Motor Vehicles Act from hefty penalty charges.
- Goa, for its part, said that it will consider implementing the law only after fulfilling its "moral responsibility" of repairing all potholed roads in its territory. "We will enforce the amended fines from January next year," said State Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho, effectively buying the Pramod Sawant government some much-needed time.
Uttarakhand relaxes strict penalties
After Gujarat and Karnataka, Uttarakhand has now reduced the penalties for traffic violations under the amended Motor Vehicles Act.
Reducing the amount of hefty traffic fines imposed by the Centre under the new Motor Vehicles Act, the BJP-led government in the Uttarkhand said the Centre's fine of Rs 5,000 for driving without licence has been slashed to Rs 2,500 in the state.
What did Nitin Gadkari say?
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday, 11 September, said the revised fines were implemented not as a revenue income scheme but for the welfare of the people.