LS polls put brakes on fines for traffic violations

LS polls put brakes on fines for traffic violations

Fines for violations are likely to be doubled. dh file photo

The penalty for traffic violations will go up only after the Lok Sabha election, as the Transport Department has decided to maintain the status quo in view of the model code of conduct.

Following a proposal by the Commissioner of Police in July last year, the department had planned to hike the fines for various violations, including riding or driving without valid licence, by two to three times. The traffic police had said the low amount charged as the penalty has failed to act as a deterrent.

Sources in the department said confusions over who should propose the hike and its extent stretched the process earlier. “Police commissioner’s proposal could not be taken up as such files should come after clearance from the Home Department. Following our request, the file was routed through the department,” a senior official said.

The proposal was later dropped after officials pointed out that the proposed fines were higher than the limit set by Motor Vehicles Act. The now junked proposal sought to increase the penalty for lack of a valid fitness certificate from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000, which may go up to Rs 5,000 for larger vehicles. Using phone while driving would cost Rs 1,000 instead of Rs 200. Lack of insurance would attract a fine of Rs 1,000 while driving without a valid driving licence would cost Rs 500.

However, officials in the legal wing of the Transport Department pointed out that the fines proposed were higher than the limit set by the Motor Vehicle Rules.

Transport Commissioner V P Ikkeri has recently sent a revised proposal, trimming the fine amounts to suit the limits of the law.

Officials, however, refused to reveal the figures but said fines within Rs 500 are likely to be doubled.

“The revised proposal has been sent to the government. It will be taken up once the elections are over,” an official in the Regional Transport Office said.