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Bengal Puts Brake on Few Clauses in New Motor Vehicles Act, Decides to Implement it ‘Partially’

The amended Motor Vehicle Act come into force from September 1, but the Bengal government refused to implement it ‘fully’ and sent the file to Advocate General of Bengal for legal opinion.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:September 2, 2019, 12:44 PM IST
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Bengal Puts Brake on Few Clauses in New Motor Vehicles Act, Decides to Implement it ‘Partially’
Image used for representational purpose. (Image: PTI)
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Kolkata: After outright refusal, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has managed to get some headway in West Bengal with the Mamata Banerjee-led government in the state deciding to implement it ‘partially’

On August 5, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019, was passed by Parliament and it became an act after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his approval on August 9. The new bill focuses on increasing penalty for traffic violations to reduce number of road accident cases in India.

The amended Motor Vehicle Act come into force from September 1, but the Bengal government refused to implement it ‘fully’ and sent the file to Advocate General of Bengal for legal opinion.

The new law aims to instill fear in people who violate traffic rules, since an 'intelligent traffic system' will monitor offences, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said last month.

Speaking to the News18, State transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari on Monday said the Bengal government will follow only those norms which are ‘mandatory’. “Those which are ‘not mandatory’ were put on hold till we receive the legal opinion from the Advocate General of Bengal. We have already sent the file to the legal department,” he said.

When asked to elaborate, he said, “Besides many, our primary concern is with the exorbitant hikes in the penalty charges for violation of motor vehicle rules. Also, we raised objection to the clause which empower several car companies to give fitness certificate for its own cars. How can this be possible?”

“We all are concerned about road safety but that has to be implemented in a proper way and after taking into account the convenience of all stakeholders,” Suvendu said, adding that it is state’s prerogative to put on hold or reject clauses which are not mandatory.

Under the new Motor Vehicles Act, for deaths in hit-and-run cases, the government will provide a compensation of Rs 2 lakh or more to the victim’s family members. The existing compensation provision is Rs 25,000.

For drunk driving the minimum fine has been increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 while for rash driving the penalty has been increased from Rs 1000 to Rs 5000.

The penal provisions in the new Act are: Driving without a license will now attract a minimum fine of Rs 5,000 (presently it is Rs 500), Over-speeding penalty has been increased from Rs 400 to Rs 1,000-2,000.

Fine for not wearing seatbelt would attract a fine of Rs 1,000 as against Rs 100 at present. Not the least, for the first time road contractors and civic bodies will now be accountable for poor construction, poor maintenance and wrong design of roads which could lead to road accidents.

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