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Mamata Banerjee: High Traffic Fines "too Harsh", Won't Impose In WB

Written By Monica Aggarwal | Mumbai | Published:

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  • West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said that she will not be implementing Motor Vehicles Act in the state
  • She said that WB govt officials are of theĀ opinion that the fines will over-burden people

Speaking over the newly implemented Motor Vehicles Act by the Modi government imposing high traffic fines on rule-breakers, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has said that she will not be implementing the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act in the state. Stating that the fines are "too harsh", Mamata Banerjee said that West Bengal government officials are of the opinion that if implemented, the fines will over-burden people.

"I can't implement this Motor Vehicle Act right now because our govt officials are of the opinion that if we implement it will over burden people," Mamata Banerjee said speaking to reporters at Nabanna Bhavan.

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

Earlier in the day, opposing the act, Congress leader Sachin Pilot said that the law is not practical, stating that mere fines will not bring behavioural change in people.

"We are not against bringing a behavioural change. But it is not practical. Mere fines will not bring a behavioural change. If you only increase the fine, nothing can happen. I am not against the fines levelled but these are impractical laws. Gujarat govt has also agreed to it," Sachin Pilot said asserting that Rajasthan government will not implement the law in the state. 

READ | New traffic fines stir debate: Here's how violations are viewed abroad

States opposing the move

While a number of states gave relief to passengers from the hefty 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, while Maharashtra, 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 | Traffic fines: Here are all the new penalties under Motor Vehicles Act

Provisions under the Motor Vehicles Act

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari introduced the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha on July 15, 2019, with the act being implemented on September 1. It broadly contains 63 provisions that deal with penalties. Below 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 racing/speeding has been increased to imprisonment of up to 1 month and/or fine up to Rs 500 for the first offence.
  3. Penalty for travelling without a helmet has been increased to a fine up to Rs 1,000.
  4. Fine for not wearing seatbelt has been increased from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000.
  5. Fine for talking on a mobile phone while driving has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.
  6. 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.
  7.  Fine for individuals driving without a licence has been increased from up to Rs 500 to Rs 5,000.
  8.  Penalty for travelling without a ticket has been increased from up to Rs 200 to Rs 500.

READ | Stringent traffic rules aim at curbing road accidents: Gadkari

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