The Indian Youth Congress (IYC) on Wednesday held a protest against the amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act and demanded reduction of hefty fines against traffic violators. Alleging that the registered number of vehicles caught violating traffic rules gets uploaded on a website, the protestors said the open use of the 'challan' portal was an invasion on the privacy of common citizens.
Under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, which came into effect on September 1, the penalty for driving without insurance has been doubled from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 for first-time offenders. It has also gone up four times for second-time offenders to Rs 4,000. The IYC said that the protest was held to demand reduction in 'challans' amount.
"We demand that the 'challan' amount should be reduced. A person who draws a salary of Rs 4,000 cannot pay a 'challan' of Rs 10,000 for traffic violation," said Mahima Sharma, one of the protestors.
At the ongoing protest by IYC in Delhi, against heavy fines imposed under the Motor Vehicle Act. pic.twitter.com/Cjt3yOaeBV— Youth Congress (@IYC) September 25, 2019
The protest is being held at various spots all across Delhi including outside Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari's residence and outside Transport Ministry and inner circle of Connaught Place. "It is especially difficult for us girls. If we are caught violating traffic rules, the registered number of the vehicle gets uploaded on the website and anyone can access our personal details," said Jyoti, another protestor.
The Bill came into effect from September 1 and it was approved by the President of India. The government has notified 63 clauses that deal with penalties, licences, registration and National Transport Policy, among others. The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill will tighten road traffic regulations such as allotment of driving licence and impose stricter penalties for violations in an attempt to improve road safety. The Bill also increases the minimum compensation for hit and run cases. In case of death, from Rs 25,000 to two lakh rupees, and in case of grievous injury, from Rs 12,500 to Rs 50,000.
In addition, the Bill also allows the Central government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a defect in the vehicle may cause damage to the environment, or the driver, or other road users. New penalties have been prescribed for carrying of excess passengers, failure to use safety belt and violation of rules in seating of children, violation of safety measures for motorcycle drivers and pillion riders, refusal to stop and submit vehicle for weighing, use of phones in silent zones and failure to allow free passage to emergency vehicles. Besides, the new rules enable state governments to designate any person or agency as the enforcement agency to detect and impose a penalty on overloaded vehicles.
(With PTI Inputs)