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State to propose changes to new Motor Vehicle Act

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Govt. to seek parity in offence, penalty

The State government is drawing up proposals to counter certain provisions under the Centre’s amended Motor Vehicle Act, 2019.

According to officials of the State Transport Department, the proposals will be aimed at bringing more parity between the quantum of penalty and the nature of the offence, which in certain cases has been deemed too high.

State Transport Minister Anil Parab said they are working on the proposals, and will present them to Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari. “We felt that in some cases, the penalties for certain offences were too high. One needs to look at the nature of the crime while penalising the person,” he said.

The Minister said that broadly, they are seeking to reduce the amount of fines or penalties for offences that did not pose an imminent threat to the person driving or those around him, or those that were minor transgressions. “If a person is riding a bike without a helmet within the confines of a residential area for his daily chores, he would not be speeding and doesn’t pose the same threat as someone on a main road,” he said.

Senior officials from the Transport Department said in cases of speeding, a single penalty for all those who breach the threshold may not be accurate. A person driving at 40 km per hour in a place where the speed limit is 30 does not pose the same threat as someone driving at 90 km per hour, one official said.

Mr. Parab, however, said they plan to be extremely strict against those committing traffic violations knowingly, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or driving on the wrong side of the road. “We will make sure that the punishment is so harsh that not only will they not commit the offence again, but it will also act as a deterrent to others,” he said.

Mr. Parab said they plan to finalise their proposals within eight days and then meet Mr. Gadkari.

After the amended Motor Vehicles Act was passed in 2019, several States refused to implement it. The Centre had written to all States earlier this month to implement the Act, failing which they would attract provisions of Article 356.

The new law has increased fines for not wearing a helmet from ₹100 to ₹1,000, along with a three-month disqualification of licence. For speeding or racing, the fine has increased from ₹500 to ₹5,000.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:59:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/state-to-propose-changes-to-new-motor-vehicle-act/article30570518.ece

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