With a fine of Rs 1.41 lakh, a Rajasthan-registered truck has broken the record for receiving the highest fine for traffic violations under the new Motor Vehicles Act, which came into force on 1 September. According to reports, the vehicle was fined for "overloading" by the enforcement wing of the Delhi transport department.
The driver paid the penalty of Rs 1,41,700 at Rohini court on Tuesday, PTI reported. After the implementation of the amended Motor Vehicles Act, the penalty for overloading of goods carriers has been hiked to Rs 20,000 with Rs 2,000 for each additional tonne. Earlier, the penalty was Rs 2,000 plus Rs 1,000 for each extra tonne.
On 8 September, the highest challan of Rs 86,500 was issued in Odisha to a Nagaland-registered truck. However, the driver, identified as Ashok Jadav, was able to submit documents to reduce the fine to Rs 70,000. Reportedly, Jadav was fined for "allowing an unauthorised person to drive (Rs 5,000), driving without a licence (Rs 5,000), overloading (Rs 56,000), carrying over dimension projections (Rs 20,000) and a general offence (Rs 500)."
The new traffic rules have been received by protests and shock as fines charged have been half the original price of the vehicle, in some cases. According to reports, in the first four days since the implementation of the fine, a whopping Rs 1.41 crore had been collected via challans in Haryana and Odisha alone. Odisha, along with Delhi and Haryana, was among the first to implement the amended Motor Vehicles Act.
Times Now reported that 3,900 challans were issued in Delhi on the first day of the new traffic rules being implemented.
Last week, an auto-rickshaw in Odisha's capital Bhubaneswar fined Rs 47,500 for "riding his vehicle without an "authentic driving licence, registration certification, insurance certificate as well as for drunken driving", News18 reported.
However, The Indian Express also reported that the Naveen Patnaik-led state government wrote to the Centre seeking amendments in the Act after several people were injured in a clash with police personnel in Bhubaneshwar over the hefty fines.
Police resorted to baton charge to disperse the crowd after they started pelting stones on traffic guards, reports said, adding that "several people and policemen were injured" in the incident.
Agitators claimed government's vehicles were not stopped for checking documents. "Why are there two laws, one for police vehicles and another for the public?" said a woman who was asked to pay fine for not wearing the seat belt while driving.
The report also said that Patnaik has instructed officials "not to enforce" the new rules of the Motor Vehicles Act "aggressively for three months".
Amid dissatisfaction over the increased fines, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has defended the amendments and said that the high amounts as fines were to deter people from breaking the traffic rules. Speaking at the annual SIAM convention in Delhi, Gadkari said, "The government does not desire to raise the limits of fine. The issue is that a time should come that no one gets penalised and everyone follows the rules."
In another event in Nagpur, Gadkari said that the idea behind the stringent rules "is to make people conform to rules", and asked what is more important — lives or money. Gadkari, addressing the criticism of the high penalties under the new law, said that only those who were breaking the law were paying fines.
"If one does not break the law, why will he need to pay a fine? We are jumping red signals, accidents are happening every day, people are losing their lives. If people will have fear of law, only then will they follow rules," he said.
On Monday, Gadkari said that even he has been fined for speeding on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai. Talking to reporters about the major decisions of the Modi-led government in its first 100 days, Gadkari also said that amended motor vehicles law was one of the big achievements of the Centre.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Sep 11, 2019 09:56:34 IST