Motor Vehicles Act seems to have triggered drivers nationwide to get their papers in order. After the act came into force from the first week of September, long queues of vehicle owners have become a regular sight at the transport department. The huge footfall of vehicle owners is being witnessed almost daily to get their Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate to transport department officials. Earlier, the number of people seeking PUC certificates used to be anywhere between ten thousand to twelve thousand per day, now the numbers have increased to thirty five thousand to forty thousand per day.
This drastic change is an outcome of the huge price hike from Rs.1000 to Rs.10,000 which is being levied on the offenders who fail to update their PUC. The certificate must be updated every 90 days in the national capital and the costs depend on the type of vehicle and the fuel it uses. The violation not only attracts a hefty fine but the offender is also liable to be prosecuted under section 190 (2) of the Motor Vehicles Act.
In the pollution control check test, vehicles have to meet standards set by the transport department. They are checked for the emissions of carbon monoxide, smoke, and hydrocarbons which are toxic for human health. The PUC certificate is the testimony of the fact that the vehicle has met all norms. Some computerised PUC centres are also available at petrol pumps and workshops across the nation. The government is also planning to open more centres throughout the nation to manage the huge turn-out of the citizens after the hike in fines. Also, in Bihar, the road transport department has instructed all the petrol pumps to open these centres to facilitate the people.
The new rules also enhances the penalty for drunken driving. If a driver is found drunk driving, there will be imprisonment of up to 6 months and/or fine of up to Rs 10,000 for first offense and imprisonment up to 2 years and/or fine of Rs 15,000 for the second offense. Besides, the penalty for driving without a license will be increased from up to Rs 500 to Rs 5,000. Fine for not wearing a seatbelt would attract a fine of Rs 1,000 as against Rs 100 earlier. The over-speeding penalty has been increased from Rs 400 earler, to anywhere between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000.