Motor Vehicles Act: BJP-ruled states put brakes on hefty fines, others won't implement
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The government’s move to impose hefty penalties for violation of traffic rules is facing resistance from several states, and embarrassingly, its the BJP-ruled states who are leading this charge and have decided to slash the penalties on “humanitarian” grounds.
The Vijay Rupani-led Gujarat government was the first which announced a drastic cut in the penalties for traffic violations. In some cases the reduction in the state is as steep as Rs 1,000 from Rs 10,000.
"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 had said.
Following Gujarat’s footsteps, states such as Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra have also come up with similar announcements, indicating that they may also consider making drastic changes at their end.
Uttarakhand, another BJP-ruled state, has already reduced the penalties for traffic violations under the amended Motor Vehicles Act.
Uttarkhand said the Centre's fine of Rs 5,000 for driving without licence has been slashed to Rs 2,500 in the state.
In case someone is found driving with expired licence, the Centre's fine is Rs 10,000, however, the Uttarakhand government has brought it down to Rs 5,000.
Meanwhile, opposition-ruled states such as Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Rajasthan have also hinted at making similar cuts in the severe traffic penalties. While Chhattisgarh is yet to implement the new penalty provisions, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that she will not implement the new law that imposes hefty fines for traffic violations. Calling the amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act "too harsh", the Trinamool Congress chief said it was against the federal structure of the government.
Maharashtra's BJP-Shiv Sena coalition government termed the new penalties prescribed under the amended law as "exorbitant" and stayed its implementation. State Transport Minister Diwakar Raote also urged the centre to "reconsider and reduce" the hefty fines imposed on the people.
The Goa government has also said 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.
The Left government in Kerala and the Congress governments Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are reviewing them with an eye on possible reductions.
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said that states will be responsible if they try to dilute traffic violation fines.
“To those states who are refusing to enforce the fines, isn't life more important than money? This was done to save lives. People need to have a fear of law. Why was the death penalty for rape after the Nirbhaya case? To create a fear of the law,” Gadkaroi told NDTV in an interview.
After the implementation of the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019, traffic police across the country are coming down heavily on those who are violating the new rules and various state government are either resisting the new MV Act or bringing changes to it by detuning the violation fines.
Post imposition of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019, from September 1, hefty challans for traffic rules violations by the police has hit the headlines. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said stringent rules were "much needed" as people had taken traffic laws very lightly and there was neither fear nor respect for the law.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta