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Published On: Wed, Sep 11th, 2019

After Gujrat, now Maharashtra Says Its Exorbitant traffic fines

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NEW DELHI : KOLKATA/ MUMBAI : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that she will not implement the new law that imposes hefty fines for traffic violations, a day after BJP-ruled Gujarat slashed penalties.
Calling the amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act “too harsh” the Trinamool Congress chief said it was against the federal structure of the government.
“We had opposed amendments in Parliament. If we implement the Motor Vehicles Act amendments, it will hurt general people,” the chief minister, who is one of the BJP’s fiercest critics, told reporters in Kolkata. Adding that money is the not solution, Ms Banerjee said that the problem needs to be looked at from the “humanitarian point of view”.18TH-THGRP-MAMATA
Saying that accidents have come down, Ms Banerjee also added that Bengal already has the “Safe Drive Save Life” campaign – a flagship programme of the Bengal government focusing on road safety. Bengal is the third state to reject the centre’s new law.

Earlier, Mamata Banerjee said the West Bengal government will not implement the amended Motor Vehicles Act, which provides for stiff fines for traffic violations, as it is “too harsh” on the people, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.
“We are not implementing the amended Motor Vehicle Act right now because our government officials are of the opinion that if we implement it, then it will be a huge burden on the people. It is very harsh,” she told reporters here.
The TMC supremo said that her party had opposed the amendments to the Act in Parliament, saying it was against the federal structure of the government. “We raised the matter in the Parliament as it was interfering twith he federal structure. You cannot take a unilateral decision that can harm the people,” Banerjee remarked.

The centre has contended that tightening the rules on traffic violations will help make the country’s roads safer. But state governments are not convinced. Gujarat, a BJP-ruled state has already slashed steep penalties on Tuesday.
Congress-ruled Rajasthan too is approaching the new provisions with caution. Rajasthan transport minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas had said earlier this month that they can at least reduce the fines.
“The centre can pass a law. But we can review it… we cannot do away with the fines completely but we can reduce it at least,” Mr Khachariyawas said. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill cleared Parliament in July and came into effect on September 1.

Under the new rules, the fine for riding a two-wheeler without a helmet has been upped to Rs. 1000 from Rs. 100. Using cellphones while driving can invite a fine between Rs. 1,000-5,000 – up from Rs. 1,000.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote wrote a letter to Union Transport Minister complaining about the new provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act. The letter asked the Centre to reconsider the penal provision in the law the heavy fines which have been increased exorbitantly and raised a public outcry.

Meanwhile, the Union Minister said that aim of the implementation was to ‘create fear and respect for the law’. He told news agency ANI: “We are implementing this to create fear & respect for the law. It is not a revenue making proposal but a proposal to save lives of the people. We are losing 2% GDP due to road accidents.” (With Inputs from Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur).

 

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