My Car Was Fined Too for Speeding in Mumbai, Says Nitin Gadkari, Defends Hefty Challans
Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari brushed aside concerns that the steep fines would lead to an increase in corruption, saying the authorities have installed cameras "everywhere".
File photo of Union minister Nitin Gadkari.
New Delhi: Defending hefty challans for traffic violations that came into effect this month, Union minister Nitin Gadkari revealed on Monday that his vehicle was fined as well.
Addressing a press conference on 100 days of the Modi government, the road transport and highways minister said the vehicle was registered in his name and was fined in Mumbai for over-speeding.
Gadkari said that to further improve road safety in the country, 786 ‘black spots’ had been identified along National Highways, adding that 30% driving licences in use are bogus.
The minister also brushed aside concerns that the steep fines would lead to an increase in corruption. “People say corruption will increase. How will that happen? We have installed cameras everywhere,” he said.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 provides for stricter punishment for various traffic-related offences as well as higher penalties, including compensation of Rs 5 lakh for death and Rs 2.5 lakh for grievous injury in a motor vehicle accident case.
The Act provides for a penalty of Rs 10,000 for not giving way to emergency vehicles and Rs 10,000 for driving despite disqualification. Penalty for dangerous driving has been increased to Rs 5,000 from Rs 1,000, while drunken driving under the new law attracts a fine of Rs 10,000. Penalties for over-speeding range from Rs 1,000- 2,000.
Driving without insurance is punishable with Rs 2,000 fine while driving without a helmet will attract Rs 1,000 penalty and 3-month suspension of licence. Also, the guardian/owner will be deemed guilty in case of road offence by juveniles, while registration of the vehicle will be cancelled.
Traffic violations now attract a penalty of Rs 500 in place of Rs 100 earlier, while disobedience of orders of authorities will attract a minimum penalty of Rs 2,000 in place of Rs 500 earlier.
Cab-aggregators violating licensing conditions will be charged a sum of up to Rs 1 lakh, while overloading of vehicles would attract a penalty of Rs 20,000.
Penalty for unauthorised use of vehicles without a licence has been fixed at Rs 5,000 while those driving without a licence will have to shell out the same amount and those found driving despite disqualification would be fined Rs 10,000.
The penalties are based on the recommendations of transport ministers from 18 states, which were vetted by a standing committee of Parliament.
"Intelligent traffic system does not discriminate. If you violate the law, you will have to pay penalty whether you are central minister, chief minister, bureaucrat or a journalist. There have been instances in my knowledge where CMs and others have been slapped with challans," Gadkari had said earlier this week.
He appealed to the people to use the digital platforms like DigiLocker or mParivahan to carry Driving Licence, Registration Certificate or other documents in 'electronic form' which are valid under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and present them to traffic police if asked.
These electronic records available on DigiLocker or mParivahan are deemed to be legally recognised at par with the original documents as per the provisions of the Information Technology Act and the Motor Vehicles Act. As per the Motor Act, the owner/driver has to produce the documents -- licence or certificate of registration etc to the authority on demand.
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