Brace for hefty traffic fines as Maharashtra set to implement amended Motor Vehicle act
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said the state will implement the Centre’s amended Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, which stipulates steep fines for violation of traffic rules.
He also indicated revision in penalty amount to make it less harsh on the common man, without compromising on the “deterrent value” of the Act.
The CM’s announcement comes days after Shiv Sena leader and state Transport Minister Diwakar Raote requested the Centre to reconsider the hefty fines under the amended provisions and announced holding their enforcement.
Fadnavis addressed the discrepancy, claiming that he sometimes had to “cover” his colleagues from allied parties for certain decisions.
“At times, some of my Cabinet colleagues, from allied parties, take decisions which I have had to cover. Raote’s decision was about policy. Hence, it should have been discussed with me and the entire cabinet,” the chief minister said.
The amended Motor Vehicle Act was passed by Parliament in July-August this year, but its steep fines have been at the Centre of debate, leading to some states deciding to give breathing time to the public before enforcing it.
While Gujarat and Uttarakhand have announced a cut in penalties for traffic violations under the Act, few states have adopted it in its entirety while several others have put it on hold.
Fadnavis went on to say that he was “whole-heartedly” supporting the amended provisions.
“Earlier provisions in the Motor Vehicles Act were not stringent enough. There were instances where people threw the fine amount at officials because it was so low. There have been major accidents and complaints of traffic violations. Such a strong deterrent is needed,” he said.
The CM said the Act would be implemented notwithstanding differences over the quantum of fines.
“Maharashtra is going to accept and implement the Act. There may be a difference of opinion about the fine amounts. Whether to reduce the fine amount, so that it is not a burden of the common man, can be considered. It can be worked out and fine amount can be revised to make it less harsh,” Fadnavis said.
The reduction in the fine amounts should not “compromise on its deterrent value”, he added.