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Start obeying traffic rules, or be ready to pay hefty fines or end up in jail

The Union Cabinet has approved the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2016. This means, the government has given a green signal to the authorities to go ahead and charge hefty penalties for traffic violations on Indian roads.

Under this amendment, drunk driving will attract a fine of INR 10,000 while over-speeding will attract a fine of INR 1,000 to INR 4,000. Driving without insurance will see offenders fined INR 2,000 and/or 3 months imprisonment while those two-wheeler riders riding without helmet will be fined INR 2,000 and license will be suspended for 3 months.

In view of hit and run cases in India, the amendment also proposes compensation upto INR 2 lakhs as against an earlier INR 25,000 for the victim of hit and run. In the event of death due to hit and run, compensation of upto INR 10 lakhs will have to be paid to victim’s family.

In the case of juvenile offenders, the guardians/owners will be held liable while vehicle registration will be cancelled. Jumping traffic lights, talking on phone while driving, violation of stop signal and driving against the flow of traffic will also see first-time offenders fined upto INR 5,000 while the fines will be doubled in the event of repeat offences.

The proposal is based on recommendations of Transport Ministers across 18 states and is expected to be tabled in Parliament during the current session. Road Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari has stated that the aim to save 50% of the lives being lost on roads as on date.

In 2015, India registered 1.47 lakh deaths due to road accidents, largely because most of us do not care for road signs or traffic rules. Let’s hope the new norms will bring a drastic change in our attitude towards traffic rules and regulations.

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