New Delhi, Close on the heels BJP-ruled Gujarat and Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha relaxed fines on implementing the new traffic rules, the Centre on Wednesday said it had no problems with such decisions of the states. Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters here, “States can revise fines if they want. However, peoples’ lives should be safe.”
On revised traffic fines, the Minister said, ‘This is not a revenue income scheme, are you not worried about deaths of 1,50,000 people? If the state governments want to reduce this, is it not true that people neither recognise law nor have fear of it”. In Odisha, the Chief Minister, who was seen wearing a seat belt traveling in his official car, last week said there would be three-month relaxation to allow people to comply with the new traffic norms as enshrined under the provisions of the amended Motor Vehicle Act.
In BJP-ruled Gujarat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has said on Tuesday that the “base rate for the fines will be lower than the one proposed by the Union government” and the revised fines will be announced by the state from September 16.
“The government does not intend to garner revenue by increasing fines. The idea is to make roads safer and reduce the number of accidents. Are fines more important than someone’s life? You won’t be fined if you don’t break the rules,” Mr Gadkari added.
Under the amended Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019, penalties for driving errors have been enhanced and has been implemented in several states including the national capital from September 1. On September 1, 3,900 offenders were challaned under the new amendment norms in Delhi with increased penalties and stricter punishment, according to police sources.