Questioning the Gujarat government’s lenience towards the amendments of Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the revised fines are not a revenue income scheme but for the welfare of the people. He also went on to raise the seriousness of law and order in Gujarat, reported news agency ANI.
"“This isn’t a revenue income scheme, are you not worried about deaths of 1,50,000 people? If the state governments want to reduce this, is it not true that people neither recognise law nor have fear of it?”" - Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways
The BJP-ruled Gujarat government on Tuesday, 10 September, announced a drastic cut in the penalties for traffic violations even as the Centre is justifying the steep fine amounts under the amended Motor Vehicles (MV) Act.
In some cases the reduction in the state is as steep as Rs 1,000 from Rs 10,000.
On 31 July, Parliament passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019. But some states, especially those ruled by non-BJP parties, have opposed its stringent provisions and not implemented them yet.
The amended Central MV Act provides for a fine of Rs 1,000 for driving a two-wheeler without helmet; in Gujarat the fine will be Rs 500, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced. The penalty for the offence in the state, currently, is a mere Rs 100.
While the Central law has proposed a fine of Rs 1,000 for pillion rider not wearing helmet, this provision will not be implemented at all in Gujarat, Rupani said.
Further, one can produce driving license or other documents in digitised form after storing them in 'DigiLocker' app, he said.
For not fastening the seat-belt, car drivers will be fined Rs 500 against Rs 1,000 under the Central act.
The new provisions will come into force in Gujarat from 16 September, the chief minister said.
“The fine amount for different violations proposed under the Central law is the upper limit. Penalty collection is not our objective. We want people to be safe. The Gujarat government will enforce the law strictly wherever it is needed. We will be lenient wherever needed. That is why we will not impose any fine on pillion-riders,” Rupani added.
For triple-riding on two-wheeler, the fine in Gujarat will continue to be Rs 100 and not Rs 1,000 as under the amended MV Act, as “poor people can not afford to hire auto- rickshaw if a family of three wants to go somewhere,” the chief minister said.
Talking on phone while driving would attract a fine of Rs 500 for first-time offenders and Rs 1,000 if caught second time, which is almost on par with the penalty under the Central act.
At present, the police collect Rs 1,000 for the same offence in Gujarat.
For dangerous driving as well as driving on the wrong side, the first-time penalty would be Rs 1,500 for three- wheelers, Rs 3,000 for Light Motor Vehicles and Rs 5,000 for bigger vehicles.
These fines are less than those under the Central act which provides for fines of Rs 5,000 for the first time and Rs 10,000 for repeat offence.
While the amended Central law proposes a penalty of Rs 5,000 if the driver does not have a driving license, the state police will recover Rs 2,000 from two-wheeler riders andRs 3,000 from drivers of three- or four-wheelers.
Against a hefty penalty of Rs 5,000 proposed by the Centre for not registering the vehicle, the Gujarat government will recover Rs 1,000 for two-wheelers, Rs 2,000 for three- wheelers, Rs 3,000 for four-wheelers and Rs 5,000 for bigger vehicles.
For not having fitness certificate for commercial vehicles, offenders will have to shell out Rs 500 in the case of three-wheelers and Rs 5,000 for four-wheelers or bigger vehicles.
Instead of a fine of Rs 10,000 for obstructing ambulance or any other emergency vehicle under the Central act, the state police would levy a fine of only Rs 1,000.
For breach of pollution norms, the fine in Gujarat will be Rs 1,000 for two-wheelers or Light Motor Vehicles and Rs 3,000 for other types of vehicles. The penalty for this offence under the Central MV Act is Rs 10,000.
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