A week after higher penalties under the Motor Vehicles Act was implemented by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled Gujarat announced that it will reduce penalties than what has proposed by the Centre.
“The base rate for the fines will be lower than the one proposed by the Union Government," Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Tuesday, adding that the new rules will be implemented by the state from September 16.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 that got the President’s assent last month, seeks to revamp transportation rules and improve road safety through hefty penalties for traffic rule violations, upgradation of technology, and also aims to weed out corruption.
Under the new law, penalty for driving without licence has been increased 10 times to ₹5,000, while penalty for drunk driving has been increased by five times to ₹10,000. Not giving way to emergency service vehicles will attract as much ₹10,000 penalty. Besides, fines have been increased manifold for breaking other traffic related rules such as driving without licence and insurance related documents, driving without wearing helmets, seatbelts, carrying more passengers than the vehicle’s capacity, among others. These fines came into effect 1 September.
“The implementation (of the new rules) will be done in a strict manner in order to ensure the safety of people. Further, citizens can present the required documents to the concerned office in a digital medium--person can keep a soft copy of his license and other documents saved in his/her mobile phone and when asked by the concerned officer, he/she can show the saved soft copy," Rupani said.
According to the Gujarat government, driving without wearing helmet, not wearing seatbelt will attract ₹500 as compared to ₹1,000 proposed by the Centre. Three passengers riding a two wheeler will have to shell out ₹100, as opposed to ₹1,000. Similarly, the state will impose lesser fines on penalties such as driving without licence, insurance documents, riding a polluting vehicle, driving under the influence of alcohol, not giving way to emergency vehicles, among others.
This comes in the brackdrop of rising concerns over hefty fines for traffic violations. For instance, among several cases, last week, a person from Delhi was fined a whopping ₹23,000—an amount which he claimed to be lesser than the cost of his two-wheeler-- for not wearing a helmet and not carrying vehicle-related documents.