Increased Traffic Fines Leave Delhi Angry and Confused
Sixty-three clauses of the new Motor Vehicles Act providing for stiffer penalties came into force on 1 September.
Video Editor: Cyrus John
Amid a delay in the Delhi government’s notification of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act – that provides for higher penalties in cases of traffic violations – Delhi Police on Sunday, 1 September, began implementing the new rules, but with a rider.
Since the compoundable offences under the new amendment have not been notified by the state government, the city’s traffic police could not collect cash and only handed over Court Challans (fines) to offenders. These challans did not specify the amount to be paid and the amount will only be decided by courts, depending on their area of jurisdiction.
Mohammed Faisal was travelling on a motorbike with his wife, when the duo were stopped by the traffic police near Rajghat. While Faisal was wearing a helmet, his wife, who was riding pillion, didn’t have one on. When asked about the new penalties, Faisal said “I know about the heightened fines, but my wife is sick and we were just returning from the hospital...she was feeling uneasy, so didn’t wear the helmet.”
Faisal spent close to twenty minutes with the cops, before he was handed over a court challan that specified only the offence, but not the amount to be paid. “Now I will have to go and pay this challan. If an ordinary middle-class citizen is fined multiple times, will he have the money and the time to pay these?” he rued.
While Faisal was caught for driving without a helmet, Sonu was caught near Delhi Gate for overshooting the zebra crossing. “I knew about the increased fines, but it was my fault. These rules are for our own good and for those who repeatedly violate traffic rules,” he said.
Commuters who do not own or travel in private vehicles often face the brunt of traffic violations made by motorists and Rohit Kumar is among the former. The 12th grade student feels that it is a good move on the part of the government as it benefits all passengers in making travel safer.
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