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Published On: Wed, Sep 11th, 2019

“States can revise traffic fines if they want: Nitin Gadkari

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Capture_8VbfuL9NEW DELHI : Speaking at the launch of the Honda Activa 125 BS-VI, Minister for Road, Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has said that he has no problem with States reducing the traffic fines. This statement of his came a day after Gujarat Government announced a reduction in the fines under the new Motor Vehicles Act.
Gadkari’s comments come after Gujarat, on Tuesday, reduced traffic fines, with chief minister Vijay Rupani saying that the “base rate for the fines will be lower than the one proposed by the union government” and the revised fines will be implemented from 16 September.
Gadkari said the Motor Vehicles Act falls in the concurrent list, and states as well as the Centre can revise and frame rules under the amended act. “The government does not intend to garner revenue by increasing fines. The idea is to make roads safer and reduce the number of accidents. Are fines more important than someone’s life? You won’t be fined if you don’t break the rules,” the minister said at an industry event.
Gadkari said that it is upto the states on what they do with the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 that came into effect from September 1. He also said that the idea is to reduce accidents and save as many lives by forcing stricter fines. Nitin Gadkari said stringent rules were “much needed” as people had taken traffic laws very lightly and there was neither fear nor respect for the law.

 

Meanwhile, while talking to a TV Channel Gadkari said that states will be responsible if they try to dilute traffic violation fines, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today as the ruling BJP was embarrassed by its own government in Gujarat slashing fines under an amended law cleared by parliament recently.”People need to have a fear of law. Why was the death penalty for rape after the Nirbhaya case? To create a fear of the law.”

Yesterday, BJP-ruled Gujarat announced that the fines would be reduced by 90 per cent, even though the party’s government at the centre pushed for steep new penalties under the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act. Today, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, one of the BJP’s fiercest critics, said the fines were too harsh, that they wouldn’t apply in her state.
Pressed on whether he could force states to fall in line, Mr Gadkari remarked: “Jisko karna hai kare, na karna na kare (those who want to enforce it can do it. Those who don’t, need not.” Mr Gadkari said, referring to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani: “If he thinks he can do that, then maybe he was taken a considered decision.”

He added: “It’s time that the country thinks about saving lives…1,50,000 people get killed on the roads in a year and 65 per cent of them are 18-35 years old. They haven’t been killed in terror strikes or riots.. This (the new law), was done to save lives. That is my first objective, but I need the cooperation of state governments. This should be above parties and state governments.”

Defending the new rules, the minister said these were drafted after consultations and studying the laws in the UK, Canada, California and Argentina.

 

 

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