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