Stiff traffic fines for Dangerous Driving

Jumping traffic lights, using mobile phone while driving, violating the stop sign and driving against the flow of traffic may soon attract fines up to Rs.5,000 for the first offence and double that amount for subsequent violations.
These provisions are part of the proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act, approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday , which broadens the definition of “dangerous driving“ to include these offences.
Traffic police will have the power to impound the driver's licence, which can also be suspended for committing any offence classified as dangerous driving. The bill in this regard is expected to be tabled in Parliament during the current session.
The amendments also propose to bring the taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber under the licensing norms of state governments. The aggregators can be penalised between Rs.25,000 and Rs 1 lakh for each violation of licencing conditions.
In its current form, the MV Act defines dangerous driving as speeding posing a danger to public and has provisions of fine up to Rs.1,000 or six months' jail for the first offence. The amended Act redefines dangerous driving.
“Every violation of traffic lights has the potential to cause a crash. Similarly , driving against the flow of traffic can have serious consequences.The fines we have proposed are minimum penalty . States can increase these 10 times,“ said a government official.
The Cabinet also approved increasing the penalty for drunk driving by five times -from Rs.2,000 at present to Rs.10,000. In case of offences caused by juvenile drivers, the “guardian or owner of the vehicle“ shall be deemed guilty and would attract a fine of Rs.25,000, with three years of imprisonment. The juvenile will also be tried under the JJ act and the registration of the vehicle will be cancelled.
Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said the proposed amendments will prove to be the “biggest reform“ towards road safety and motor vehicle regulations.
“These will pave the way for transparency in issuing driving licences, ending permit raj and red-tapism. At present, people have less respect for the law and almost no fear.That will end and we aim to save 50% of the lives we are losing on our roads,“ Gadkari said.
The bill has simplified norms for getting learner's and driving licences for physically challenged and vehicle registration certificates.

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