THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state has decided not to impose hefty fines under the new Motor Vehicles Act after it sought clarity from Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Transport Minister AK Saseendran on Monday.
“A final decision regarding fine would be taken after the Centre makes its stand clear,” he said.
According to the minister, the Union government should issue ordinance rather than leave it open-ended. Saseendran said the fines were ‘unscientific’ and devoid of logic. The state initially supported heavy fine when came into effect on September 1. But it took a u-turn sensing the public backlash.
Relaxation in fine was on cards after CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan came out against the law and termed it ‘unscientific’. Saseendran directed the Motor Vehicle Department not to levy new fines till the government decides otherwise.
During Onam he bought time stating that a final decision would be taken after the Centre issued fresh order that gave powers to state government to determine the fine.
States like the BJP-ruled Gujarat and Karnataka have already announced drastic cuts in fine imposed on various traffic violations, while Telangana, Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Tamil Nadu decided not to implement the amended Act.
Populism before safety
T’puram: Initially, Kerala backed the heavy fines after the new Act came into force on September 1. But it subsequently did a U-turn fearing backlash from the public