The centre's new law imposing hefty fines on traffic violations has worried the states. Both Congress-ruled Rajasthan and BJP-ruled Gujarat, are looking for ways to lighten the rules that now call for a Rs 1000 fine for riding a two-wheeler without helmet and jailing of parents when underage teens take the wheels.
The centre contends that tightening the rules on traffic violation will help make the country's roads safer. But state governments are not convinced.
"What does the Centre want to prove? How will this reduce road accidents? If you penalise a couple for riding on a bike with a child and ask them to shell out Rs 2000, can a middle-class family pay such a hefty fine?" questioned Rajasthan transport minister Pratap Singh Kachariya.
"The centre can pass a law. But we can review it... we cannot do away with the fines completely but we can reduce it at least," Mr Katawaria said.
Gujarat too is approaching the new provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act with caution. Highly placed sources in the Gujarat government said the amended rules will be implemented after it has been discussed with all concerned.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has also said that it would hold talks with "various stakeholders, including the traffic police" on heavy fines for minor offences, which can be compromised between the complainant and the accused with or without court permission.
The new rules for traffic violation -- which considers common offences like the use of cellphone while driving, jumping traffic lights and driving on the wrong lane as "dangerous driving" - came into effect yesterday.
Under the new rules, the fine for driving without a seat-belt has been upped from Rs 100 to Rs 1000. Using cellphones while driving can invite a fine between Rs. 1,000-5,000 - up from Rs 1000.
For drunk driving, the fine has been hiked from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 10,000. Overspeeding has a penalty anywhere between Rs. 1,000- Rs. 2,000.
In case of any road offence by underage drivers, the guardian or owner of the vehicle will be held guilty. The penalty will be Rs. 25,000 along with three years in jail and the registration will be cancelled.
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