Heavy traffic fines, Harekrishna Harekrishna
Penalty for riding a 2 wheeler without headgear/helmet will be Rs 1000; fine for driving without seat belt will be Rs 1000; speeding penalty will be Rs 1000 for light vehicles and Rs 2000 for heavy vehicles. And many of us have to pay one penalty that is for using vehicles in unsafe conditions - Rs 1500 to 5000. This is going to be the new traffic law.
With the implementation of the amended Motor Vehicles Act 2019, under Sec 200(1) Manipur State Govt might have fixed new penalties on traffic law violations (7 SEP notification). Some other States are yet to notify it pondering over the heftiness of the new fines on traffic violations. Perhaps Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh , Telangana ,Bengal , Kerala, Delhi etc are yet to issue the notification.
Now the penalty for obstruction of free flow of traffic will be Rs 500 per hour; we don’t know whether the VIP vehicles are included or excluded. Driving vehicles exceeding the permissible weight is Rs 20,000 only- and there will be an additional fine of 2000 rupees per tonne of excess load. Driving uninsured vehicles Rs 2000. Disobedience of orders and obstruction rupees 2000. Driving dangerously Rs 1000 to Rs 5000. Allowing unauthorized persons to drive Rs 5000. Racing Rs 5000. Blowing horn unnecessarily Rs 1000.
The Centre has left some categories where the States could decide the quantum of fines. Section 200 of the Motor Vehicles Act authorizes the State government to fix penalties for some compoundable offences. Our State government has done some moderation but is it still on the higher side ? One transport minister says they will assess the paying capacity of the public; otherwise people will be compelled to manipulate the system in connivance with the law enforcing agencies.
Compliance to the rules and regulations is important but if the common people are having constraints we have to rethink. Heavy penalties and stringent laws not necessarily bring about disincline and positive changes. Sometimes they create more problems. It reminds us of an incident which took place a few days back - a gentleman set on fire his two wheeler when he was imposed a fine of 19000 rupees for various traffic offences. Actually he bought the bike at rupees 16000 rupees some months ago. We dint know what had happened to him after that incident . It happened in the National Capital Territory.
In the meantime a Supreme Court Committee has authorised the Traffic Police to seize the driving licence of traffic violators of speed limit , traffic signals, using mobile phones while driving and carrying persons in goods-vehicles; the licence will be suspended for a minimum of 3vmonths.
We understand the protocol requirements and security concerns of the VVIPS or VIPs. But without any valid reason every now and then traffic rules are violated by the VIPs, law enforcing agencies, police , security forces etc. They are also supposed to follow traffic rules and regulations. They normally ignore the one way; many a times their vehicles carry unreadable numbers or strange registration numbers etc; almost all the time the drivers of the VIP vehicles don’t bother to carry licence and valid documents.
A few days back the Chief Minister of Meghalaya walked to his office from his official residence. It is not exactly about health, but certainly about pollution or traffic congestion, it saving fuel and saving money . He said he will continue doing it once in a week. Not a bad idea to imitate by one and sundry. We also heard that some Members of Parliament do come to Parliament riding bicycle.
If the fine are so hefty then people have no other option other than to go to jail. Suppose a person who is riding a third hand scooter (costing 5000 rupees ) violated a few traffic rules like not carrying valid RC and driving licence , insurance paper, riding an outdated bike etc – as per the present penalties of the Union government it will be above 20000; he cant pay , so the best remedy is to surrender to the police ; he may be arrested and put behind bars may be for three/four months. This is going to be an easy route to go to jail and stay there for few months with full security – & lodging -eating free. You just need to hire a very old bike and commit some serious traffic crimes and go to jail , take rest there for months together. This is not going to be rigorous imprisonment; there is hardly any ignominy involved.
To have the Knowledge of traffic rules and regulations is the responsibility of each and every citizen regardless of whether s/he in the driver’s seat or not. And it is always better to obey the rules rather than facing the music; it is the bounden duty of every citizen to follow the rules. No phone , no cigarette, no drinking and no intimacy while driving ought to be the norm for your safety.
If you don’t want to go to pay hefty fines please carry original documents while driving – RC, driving licence, insurance paper, pollution certificate(if required) etc. Law enforcers will not accept Digital images and courts too do not accept documents on Digi-lockers. Please don’t make the law enforcers happy and wealthy. Don’t we think that some more moderation is still required ? Please don’t tell me our per capita is higher than many States?