Maharashtra Min Requests Nitin Gadkari To Reduce High Traffic Fines

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Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote on Wednesday has written a letter to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari over the newly-implemented Motor Vehicles Act.

Written By Monica Aggarwal | Mumbai | Updated On:

Amid the debate over increase in traffic fines under the newly-implemented Motor Vehicles Act, Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote on Wednesday has written a letter to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in the matter. In the letter, he has stated that the fines prescribed in the new act have been increased exorbitantly and have raised a public outcry. The Maharashtra minister went on to request Nitin Gadkari to reconsider and reduce the same by "making suitable amendments in the Central Motor Vehicle Act.

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Earlier, Maharashtra farmers panel chief Kishore Tiwari (Chairman of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission (VNSSM)) had also expressed displeasure with the increased penalties. He called upon Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to "immediately slash" the steep penalties to reasonable levels. Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote had also reportedly said that fines in the new Act were "steep" and the government was reviewing. The traffic police are waiting for the state government to release an official notification enforcing the implementation of amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act in the state.

States opposing the move

While a number of states gave relief to passengers from the high fines by reducing the amount, there are states which said that they will not implement them in the states. Gujarat and Odisha have relaxed the implementation of the new traffic rules and high fines, while Madhya Pradesh and Telangana are still reviewing the new fines. Congress government in Chhattisgarh is also yet to implement the new penalty provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. Refusing to enforce the act in the state, the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government said that they are not on the "same page over the fine" with the Centre.

READ | Nitin Gadkari defends big fines, says 'life more important than money'

New penalties under Motor Vehicles Act:

Here are some of the changes in the traffic rules as per the Amendment:

  1. Penalty for drunken driving has been increased to 6 months imprisonment and/or Rs 10,000 fine for the first offence.
  2. Penalty for travelling without a helmet has been increased to a fine up to Rs 1,000.
  3. Fine for not wearing seatbelt has been increased from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000.
  4. Fine for talking on a mobile phone while driving has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.
  5. Punishment for juveniles for offences will include Rs 25,000 and imprisonment up to 3 years and cancellation of registration of the motor vehicle for 12 months.
  6.  Fine for individuals driving without a licence has been increased from up to Rs 500 to Rs 5,000.

Gadkari defends hefty fines

On Wednesday, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari defended the imposition of steep traffic fines, stating that there were 1,50,000 deaths due to accidents in India every year. He went on to elaborate that 65% of the people in the category were in the age group of 18 to 35. He stressed that the government wanted to save the lives of young people. He maintained that it was up to the state government if they want to make a decision to reduce the fine amount. Asserting that the government did not want to charge a fine on the people, Gadkari stated that it should not be a problem for the people who obeyed the law. 

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READ | Sachin Pilot on high traffic fines: For rules but this is impractical

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