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Gujarat government cuts down fines imposed by the new MV Act

The Gujarat government on Tuesday announced its decision to scale down the fines levied for traffic violations under the new Motor Vehicles Act in contrast to the Centre’s justifications on the same.

According to the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, “The fine amount for different violations proposed under the Central law is the upper limit. Penalty collection is not our objective. We want people to be safe. The Gujarat government will enforce the law strictly wherever it is needed. We will be lenient wherever needed. That is why we will not impose any fine on pillion riders,”.

In some cases, the reduction in the State is as steep as ₹1,000 from ₹10,000.

On July 31, Parliament passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019. But some States, especially those ruled by non-BJP parties, have opposed its stringent provisions and not implemented them yet.

The amended Central MV Act provides for a fine of ₹1,000 for driving a two-wheeler without helmet; in Gujarat the fine will be ₹500, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced here. The penalty for the offence in the State currently is a mere ₹100.

While the Central law has proposed a fine of ₹1,000 for pillion riders not wearing helmet, this provision will not be implemented at all in Gujarat, Mr. Rupani said. Further, one can produce driving licence or other documents in digitised form after storing them in the DigiLocker app, he said.

For not fastening seat belts, car drivers will be fined ₹500 against ₹1,000 under the Central Act. The new provisions will come into force in Gujarat from September 16, the Chief Minister said.

For triple-seat riding on two-wheelers, the fine in Gujarat will continue to be ₹100 and not ₹1,000 as under the amended MV Act, as “poor people can not afford to hire autorickshaw if a family of three wants to go somewhere,” the Chief Minister said.

Talking on phone while driving would attract a fine of ₹500 for first-time offenders and ₹1,000 if caught a second time, which is almost on a par with the penalty under the Central Act. At present, the police collect ₹1,000 for the same offence in Gujarat.

For dangerous driving as well as driving on the wrong side, the first-time penalty would be ₹1,500 for three-wheelers, ₹3,000 for light motor vehicles and ₹5,000 for bigger vehicles.

These fines are lower than those under the Central Act, which provides for fines of ₹5,000 for the first time and ₹10,000 for a repeat offence.

While the amended Central law proposes a penalty of ₹5,000 if the driver does not have a licence, the State police will recover ₹2,000 from two-wheeler riders and ₹3,000 from drivers of three- or four-wheelers.

Against a hefty penalty of ₹5,000 proposed by the Centre for not registering the vehicle, the Gujarat government will recover ₹1,000 for two-wheelers, ₹2,000 for three- wheelers, ₹3,000 for four-wheelers and ₹5,000 for bigger vehicles.

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