The government has enforced the new traffic rules. People are ready to follow these new rules but they are asking for good roads in Mumbai. On the other hand, four states Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal have opposed it. These four states have refused to implement the new provisions of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019. The Motor Vehicles Act 2019 – with revised fine rates- came into existence with effect from Sunday. The act levies heavy fine for violation of rules. While people not wearing helmets or seat-belts will be fined Rs 1,000, which was Rs 100 earlier, those driving without a licence can be fined Rs 5,000 or asked to face three-month jail term.
Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that steep penalties under the amended Motor Vehicles Act are not meant to collect fines but to ensure that people do not violate the law. Gadkari said, “There is a misconception among people. If they abide by the laws, there will be no fine imposed. The law has not been imposed to collect fines. It has been brought into force so that people take traffic rules seriously and do not violate them.”
The Rajasthan government says it is considering providing practical relief to violators of the amended Motor Vehicles Act from hefty penalty charges. Rajasthan Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said, “Motorcycle is the common transport vehicle of the common man. It is not practically feasible to impose hefty fine on it. In some cases the penalty is more than cost of the vehicle.”
The Gujarat government said that high fines do not seem feasible and they will implement the new rules after receiving report from the RTO.
Amar Mehta, a Borivali resident said, “The increase in fine for flouting traffic rules will only pave way for more corruption. People will pay small amount of Rs 100 to traffic police and get away. It is necessary to create awareness among motorists about traffic rules first before imposing hefty fines.”
Under the new rules Rs 10,000 fine will be levied for not giving way to emergency vehicles Rs 10000 for driving despite disqualification. Aggregators violating driving licence will be fined upto Rs 1 lakh. A tractor-trolley driver in Haryana’s Gurugram was fined a whopping Rs 59,000 for flouting several traffic norms. The fine amount was calculated according to the newly amended Motor Vehicles Act. The amendments have significantly increased fines for various traffic offences with the aim of making Indian roads safer. The Gurugram tractor-trolley driver’s case is the latest in a series of similar incidents in which drivers have been heavily fined for flouting traffic norms.
Sudhir Joshi, a Kandivali resident said, “The newly amended Motor Vehicles Act will go a long way to nab violators of traffic rules. Often motorists annoy people by installing horns. Strict punishments should be awarded to those flouting traffic rules instead of merely imposing fines.”
“Earlier violators used to get away by paying Rs 100 to traffic police. But now we don’t know how much fine amount will be charged by the traffic police. The government must take steps to reduce vehicular traffic. Already 80 per cent of the city’s roads are filled with potholes. Instead of resolving potholes issue the government has increased fines. “
In Gurgaon, an auto driver was handed over a challan of Rs 32,500 after he was found to have jumped red light signal and in Bhubaneswar a drunk autorickshaw driver was fined Rs 47,500.
After being passed in the Lok Sabha a few weeks earlier the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill came into effect on Sunday. The new bill was passed to amend the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act 1988 which was tabled in the house back in 2017 but was not cleared in the upper house and eventually got lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. The Act provides for grant of licences and permits related to motor vehicles, standards for motor vehicles and penalties for violation of these provisions.