Kerala and Telangana Join States Opposing New MV Act Rules

The Parliament passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in July this year.

Updated
India
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The Kerala government announced on Monday, 16 September, that it has decided to put on hold the implementation of the new Motor Vehicles Act, 2019 in the state, even as several states have openly rejected the new rules.

State Transport Minister AK Saseendran said, “The Central minister himself said that he is going to issue an order that the state government can modify the fines etc according to their convenience. So we have decided to wait for that,” news agency ANI reported.

He has also written to Union minister Nitin Gadkari, urging him to bring in an ordinance, giving flexiblity to states to fix compounding fee at rates proportionate to the gravity of the offences and which was affordable to the public.

The fine fixed in the Act as per the Union government’s proposal are “very high and disproportionate to the gravity of offences, leading to large-scale public protest,” he wrote.

The minister said that the state government had issued the notification as per Section 200 of the Act, revising the compounding fee from 1 September.

Asserting that Gujarat government has reduced the fines for traffic violations by up to 50 percent, Saseendran said the Kerala government will write to the Centre over implementation of the new rules in the state.

"We are not collecting fine, but using this as an awareness campaign period. We will be writing to the Central government today. We have requested the Central government to either give permission to the state government for modification or the Central government should itself announce an ordinance so as to modify the Act," ANI quoted Saseendran as saying.

Telangana to Enact Own Law for Traffic Violation

Meanwhile, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said the state government is not in haste to implement the new penalty system under the amended Motor Vehicles Act, which came into force from 1 September, news agency PTI reported.

Rao also said the state government would come out with its own law on the subject.

"The new Act brought by the Centre, will not be implemented for now. We will make our own law. We are not in a hurry (to implement the new penalties). We do not want to harass people (with hefty fines)," Rao reportedly said on Sunday .

He was responding to a request from AIMIM MLA Jaffer Hussain in the Legislative Assembly.

Why Are States Opposing the Act?

The Parliament passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019 in July this year.

The new law seeks to tighten traffic regulations and impose steep penalties for violations of traffic rules.

Under the new law, people not wearing helmets or seat-belts will be fined Rs 1,000, up from the earlier Rs 100, while those driving without a licence can be fined Rs 5,000, up from Rs 500, or face three-month jail time.

According to PTI, a senior government official had said though the Central government has amended the Act, states have the power to take a call on penalties.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

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