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Karnataka to bring down steep fines



A day after the Gujarat government announced a drastic cut in the penalties for traffic violations under the amended Motor Vehicles Act, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday said the same will be implemented in the state also.

The BJP-ruled Gujarat government had announced a drastic cut even as the Centre was justifying the steep fine amounts under the amended MV Act.

In some cases the reduction in Gujarat is as steep as Rs 1,000 from Rs 10,000.

“Regarding the cut in the penalties for violation of traffic rules under Motor Vehicles Act, we will get the orders of the Gujarat government. I have instructed our officials that we will follow that order here also. Mostly in about two-three days like in Gujarat, here also we will try to cut the penalties that are high,” Yediyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters here after a review meeting, he said, “What Gujarat has done, it has come in papers. I will get that order copy and do it. I will see to it that it (penalty) is not too heavy.”

On July 31, Parliament passed the motor vehicles (amendment) bill, 2019, which seeks to tighten road traffic regulations such as the issuance of driving licence and imposes stricter penalties for violations in an attempt to improve road safety.

West Bengal will also not implement the amended Motor Vehicles Act as the hefty fine proposed in it will overburden the common man, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.

In a federal structure it is the prerogative of a state to decide on issues like enforcing the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, she said.

“We (WB govt) are not implementing the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. We have already initiated ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign which has yielded good result. We are working with the NGOs so that the campaign reaches everyone,” Banerjee said.

Elaborating on the reason behind the state government not enforcing the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, she said “We are not implementing it here as it is harsh. The fine proposed will be very hard on the poor.”

The provisions of the act have been examined by the state government and the officials are of the view that it will overburden the people.

In an embarrassment for the Modi government, Maharashtra’s ruling BJP-Shiv Sena coalition on Wednesday termed the heavy penalties under the new Motor Vehicles Act as “exorbitant” and stayed its implementation.

 Announcing the decision, state Transport Minister Diwakar Raote urged the Centre to “reconsider and reduce” the hefty fines by making amendments to the new MVA.

Effectively, the people of Maharashtra have been spared of the new MV Act and resultant stiff penalties till at least after the assembly elections, said an official of the state RTO.

The development came hours after a report by IANS earlier on Wednesday where Kishore Tiwari, chairman of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission warned that the new stiff fines had the potential to spur suicide rates across the country.

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