If you drive to work daily and make calls on your mobile phone while on the road, you better have your ATM card handy if you're caught by a policeman. The fine for talking on the mobile while driving just got hiked to Rs 5,000.
The government today cleared a proposal to amend the Motor Vehicle Act, increasing the penalties for violating road traffic laws. The law has to be passed in the upcoming Budget session of Parliament.
Be prepared to pay Rs 1,500 if you're caught not wearing your seat belt or riding a two-wheeler without a helmet.
Driving a vehicle without registration will cost you Rs 20,000 and a possible prison term. The penalties for jumping traffic signals and over speeding have also been raised.
Drunken driving will continue to be dealt with sternly as well with the punishment increased for every time a driver is caught driving in an inebriated condition. The punishment will also be greater depending on the alcohol content in the motorist's blood sample.
The penalty to be paid each time you're caught has also been raised, so now think twice before downing one for the road.
Nitin Dossa, Chairman of the Western India Automobile Association, welcomed the move to hike the penalties for traffic offences.
"You can't levy a fine of Rs 100 for each offence like we did in the past. The fine had to be increased and it was long overdue," he told Firstpost.
"There should also be a suspension of the driver's license and detention for violations of traffic laws. It would have been better than such high fines," he said.
However, he refused to comment on whether the high penalties for traffic offences would lead to motorists paying bribes to police officials once caught, since they might not be able to afford it.
In India road deaths account for over 10 lakh people annually. A majority of these deaths are due to driver error.
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