TS govt puts on hold hefty penalties on traffic rule violations

Hyderabad: Even as several states in the country including New Delhi have implemented the new traffic violation rules that call for stringent penalties the Telangana government said it was studying the subject and would take a call soon.

However, senior government and police officials declined to define ‘soon.’  “It could be two weeks, it could be a month. The matter is under serious consideration of the government,” senior police officers told siasat.com.

The new rules have come into effect from September 1.

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The implementation of new traffic rules across the country has created mayhem.  In several instances owners of the vehicles have been found leaving their vehicles with the police and going away since they do not seem to have the means to pay the unprecedented penalties.

The internet, especially WhatsApp appears to have hit storms with people sending clips of motorbikes being dragged by the owners since many of them were not wearing helmets.  In some cases, it has been reported that the police have levied fines up to Rs 50,000 on a simple violation.  There are also reports of multiple levying of fines to a single rider or driver on a single day.

Taking all these factors into consideration the State government has decided to go slow on the subject and elicit views of the experts as well as the common folks before taking any call.

State Transport Secretary, Sunil Sharma, said: “Government is studying the new amendments and ‘compounding fees’ in the Motor Vehicles Act 2019. We will make an announcement  soon on the subject.” 

The Transport Secretary was not sure of when, and how the new regulations would be implemented.  When asked about amendments in ‘compounding fees’ he said, “Nothing is decided yet.”

Not Just Telangana but six other states including Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Gujarat are yet to decide and impose the stringent rules of Motor Vehicles Act 2019. 

The officials agreed that the penalties are heavy and may cost more than the vehicle price. For now, the Telangana Government is organising meetups with stakeholders and discussing the quantum of penalties to be collected before implementation of the amended Act.

One of the 63 clauses of the new Motor Vehicle Act 2019, also has a provision with a fine up to Rs 1 lakh on the ‘Construction Firms’ such as Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), Hyderabad Road Development Corporation Ltd (HRDCL) for failure to comply with the standards for road design, construction, and maintenance. About which, when asked, GHMC official said, “The fine will be imposed on government and not the department.” It might get difficult for the traffic department as it is set in motion public awareness through announcements and advertising campaign.

Publicity effect

Hyderabad Traffic Police, Chief, Anil Kumar said, “Number of violations in the latter half of August and during September, in so far, have reduced due to compliance and awareness.”  

Since August last week, Hyderabad Traffic Police is received 4 lakh extra-fine amount from what was being paid on a regular basis.

 “Regular fine amount collections in Hyderabad, each day, was between Rs 20 and 24 lakh. Since August last week, we are receiving nearly Rs 29 lakh. The highest amount reached was Rs 89 lakh on 30 August.” said a traffic police official.  

Auhtored by Mohammed Hussain, mohammedhussain.reporter@gmail.com

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