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A positive move

DH News Service, Nina C George, Apr 15 2017, 0:21 IST
risky acts Traffic violations like overloading two-wheelers (above), stunt driving (below left) and talking on the cellphone while driving (below right) will now attract a higher penalty.

risky acts Traffic violations like overloading two-wheelers (above), stunt driving (below left) and talking on the cellphone while driving (below right) will now attract a higher penalty.

The passage of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016, an amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act (1988), has been welcomed by most people. There is a five-fold increase in the fine amount for most violations, thus, instilling a sense of fear in people and making them think twice before breaking traffic rules.

The new amendment has given a lot of importance to road safety. Citizens feel that offenders should not be spared and should be dealt with very strictly. Some of the highlights of the new law are that driving without a licence attracts a fine of Rs 5,000 and those overloading two-wheelers are liable to pay a fine amount of Rs 2,000 with a disqualification of licence.

Those booked for overspeeding and racing will have to shell out Rs 5,000 and those riding without helmets have to now pay a fine amount of upto Rs 1,000 with a disqualification of licence for three months. Reacting to the amendment, Aishwarya Pissay, a freelance marketing professional, says that the exorbitant fine amount will certainly instill fear in people. “The huge fine amounts will act as a deterrent. For instance, those who don’t have the habit of wearing a helmet for short distances will now think of wearing one. Even those tempted to use cellphones while driving will now think twice before doing so,” says Aishwarya.

Road rage, indiscipline and indifference are something intrinsic to our urban lives. The strict enforcement of the rules will see more people complying with them, feels Waseem Memon.

“But if these new rules are not properly enforced in good faith, then corruption is likely to increase because people will be tempted to escape by bribing the traffic cop,” says Waseem.

He feels the tendency for people to pay a bribe is more pronounced in the outskirts of the city. “There are very few cops on the outskirts and traffic violations are usually more, especially cases of drag racing. People tend to bribe the cops here to escape being booked,” adds Waseem. He also feels that traffic violations will not ease till the time people are disciplined on road.

These new rules will bring in more civilised behaviour on the road, feels Sangeetha Murthy, a homemaker. “I feel people take out their worries and frustrations on the road. The hallmark of civilised behaviour is concern for human life. People jump signals very frequently and don’t even stop to let others cross the road. This new rule will get people, especially the youngsters, to respect traffic rules.”

Bengaluru City Commissioner, Praveen Sood, informs that it is easier to catch offenders now, thanks to the technology-oriented penalty system. “The traffic police can easily trace repeated traffic offenders by keying the driving licence number or vehicle number into the Blackberry device. This will ensure that perpetual offenders don’t escape the clutches of law,” says Praveen.

He also adds that doing away with the pen and paper method of fining people has done well to reduce corruption. “People will not be able to negotiate with the traffic police because we have done away with the old system of using the pen and paper to fine people. Every offence is documented on the Blackberry device and caught on CCTV cameras installed at all prominent junctions.”

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