Steep hike in traffic fines

Steep hike in traffic fines

Using a mobile phone while driving will attract a fine of Rs 1,000 for the first offence and Rs 2,000 subsequently.

Fines for using the mobile phone while driving, wrong parking, exceeding the speed limit and other offences have gone up multi-fold as the Transport Department has cracked down on the “common causes” for accident. 

The revised fines were published in the special gazette on Thursday and come into effect immediately. The notification has done away with the practice of fixing fines depending on category of vehicles and has focused on the offender instead.

Therefore, using a mobile phone while driving will attract a fine of Rs 1,000 for the first offence and Rs 2,000 subsequently, unlike the earlier regime when two-wheelers, non-transport vehicles and transport vehicles paid Rs 300, Rs 400 and Rs 500 respectively.

Similarly, the different penalty amounts for driving vehicles without fitness certificate have gone up. The notification fixes horizontal slabs for all vehicles: Rs 2,000 for the first offence and Rs 5,000 for subsequent offences, a two-fold increase.

The fine for driving a vehicle without insurance has been doubled from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 while the parking violation will attract Rs 1,000 for the first offence and Rs 2,000 for subsequent ones for all types of vehicles.

Additional Chief Secretary of Forest and Environment Department B Basavaraju, who also holds charge as Principal Secretary of the Transport Department, said the fines have been increased within the limits fixed by the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988.

“The highest fines are still low considering that the Act is old. Even when it was amended to include offences like mobile phone use while driving, the fines were fixed based on old parameters.

“These common offences have been identified as causes for a majority of accidents and curbing them is important in view of the
society’s well being,” a senior official from the Transport Transport department said.

In its 2017 study, Save Life Foundation warned that speaking on mobile phones, which causes visual, audio, cognitive and physical distraction, was the leading cause of accidents in the country.

As many as 47% of the respondents in its survey said they receive calls while driving.

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