JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government has decided to keep penalties rather low for traffic violations under the Motor Vehicle Act in the initial phase. After a high-level meeting to review the amended Act on Tuesday night, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot stated that the compounding fee (or penalty) under the Motor Vehicle Act will initially be kept low in the state and greater stress will be laid on increasing public awareness about road safety rules.
Under the amended provisions, penalties for traffic-related violations have increased sharply. But instead of penalties, Gehlot said his government would focus on reducing the number of road accidents by making the general public aware of traffic rules.
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However, a few days ago, Rajasthan transport minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas had termed the new provisions of the Central Motor Vehicles Act as ‘impractical’ as ‘the new penalty amount is extremely excessive’. He had also stated that increasing of penalty amount has no connection with preventing accidents, and claimed that it will only increase corruption : " When the Central Motor Vehicle Act became applicable in the entire country, then it became applicable in Rajasthan as well. We want to work in a way that accidents stop entirely. My belief is that the increasing fine amount has no connection to the prevention of accidents. This will only increase corruption."
In a statement, Gehlot also said that the nearly seven lakh youngsters studying in schools and taking training in Rajasthan Knowledge Corporation and Rajasthan State Livelihood Corporation will be sensitized to road safety and traffic rules through short films, slides and books.
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The Rajasthan Chief Minister even pointed out that nearly 10,000 people, mostly youth, died every year in road accidents in the state. Gehlot also added that it was imperative that common people be educated about the rules before imposing heavy fine for traffic-related violations and added that his government would publicise the new rules and expects that people themselves would follow road safety norms.
The chief minister said of the 33 traffic-related violations, the compounding fee for 17 crimes would be kept low initially by adopting a practical approach so that people could be motivated to follow road safety rules. But in 16 cases of a serious nature, the fee will be kept on a par with the penalty amounts mentioned in the new Act, Gehlot said. If road accidents didn't reduce, the compounding fee might be increased to the maximum extent as per the new provisions of the Central Motor Vehicles Act, Gehlot concluded.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra too will be altering the penalties before implementing the new MV Act. “The amended act has a provision wherein the states can alter the provisions regarding fines according to what suits them.
We have prepared a proposal in this regard and it has been sent to the law and judiciary department,” said Shekhar Channe, the transport commissioner of Maharashtra. He also indicated that only a couple of gross violations will have a provision of hefty fine up to Rs 25,000, while for the most common violations like jumping signal and riding bike without helmet there will be sizable increase in the fine in order to discipline the people.