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Amendment of MV act to increase fines

I saw on TOI today about a proposal to amend the MV act to increase traffic violation fines.

Excerpt from above link -
"Get ready to pay heavier fines for traffic offences. A new Bill to amend the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 has been given the final touches. If passed as one of the first laws enacted by the new government, as is expected, all traffic violations would invite a heavy penalty"

What do Praja members feel about this? I feel it is one step forward in the right direction. Hopefully the revenue generated from increased fines is channeled back to improve enforcement.

Naveen's picture

Traffic Fines Increase - Long Overdue

This was long overdue !

I had always thought that fines were paltry in india when compared with most other countries & no one was really scared sufficiently about them. If the fines were stiffer, it will lead to better enforcement, even though traffic cops might misuse this for private gains & collect bribes. At least, the fear of having to pay higher bribes might instill better discipline on the roads !

Some questions though ;

1) The bill to amend the MV act is primarily aimed to discipline the traffic in Delhi in the run up to commonwealth games. The writeup states that it will be applicable across the country. Will this indeed be so ?

2) The international levels for blood-alcohol levels is 40ml for a person to be considered drunk. This level is normally reached even with a 330cc beer can. So, the 30ml limit to commence fines is not in line with international practices & will allow traffic cops a longer lead as one can have this level even after some time has passed. ie. when he may be driving home after a single beer can. So, driving after consuming just one beer will also invite fines !

3) Variable fines for higher blood alcohol levels, if enforced will of course be most welcome - this menace needs to be curbed with an iron hand. Do the cops have enough alcometers or breath analysers in the first place ?

Vasanth's picture

Rash drivers needs to be caught rather than certificate checking

Most of our traffic cops sit on a bike in a corner and his subordinate PC randomly picks bikers for certificate checking such as RC Book, DL, Emission and Insurance. Usually most of the people are caught with the emission which needs to be renewed every 6 months.

Cops never catch hold of rash drivers even if someone drives rashly right infront of them.They act as if there is no relation to them.

This is where things have to be changed. Even a traffic police, not necessarily SI should be given powers to fine (fine severely) if someone is driving rashly / wrong side. PC/SI who charges fine should be given incentive for each fining to avoid the bribing effect and to be operational more effectively. 

. There should be a call centre where a citizen can call and lodge complaint about a rash driver who caused him  or someone damage.

Now there are so many hit and run cases and people do not know where to complain at that moment. They don't want to waste time visiting police station. If there is an easily accessible helpline with sufficient publicity so that people can remember easily, things will definitely change. They should be very strict particularly  on auto, omni based city taxis and call centre cabs.


Instead of the Central Government fixing fines, which it does on an All india basis, taking into account income levels all over india, the respective city polices should decide on the amount of fine.

Second, they should have different fines for different makes of cars. A Benz or an SUV should be levied the highest fine and a moped or a cheaper kinetic scooter the lowest. In countries like Finland, your traffic fine amount is decided by which income bracket you belong to. 

Therefore Bangalore City Police should decide the fine to be levied and the amount as well. 

Srivatsava's picture

Partly agree with mcadambi

      I do agree that there is a real need to have different pricings in different cities. But I would opine that it is better to have the centre fix the rates for each tier of cities. Tier-1 cities should be charged more than the tier-3 cities.
     But, if within the same class of cties/towns, if the extent of violations and resultant effects differ widely, then there is a real need to decentralise the rates. For example, if the overall violations are the same in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkotta, Delhi, Mumbai and other tier1 cities, then it there is no need for decentralising the fine amounts.
    But, if the kind of violations are different (i.e. Chennai has much more signal-jump violations and Bangalore has more one-way violations than most other cities), then there is real need for decentralisation, so that the local police can determine the fines for specific problems plaguing their cities. ( I guess the city police do have some say infine amounts already!!)

-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V

silkboard's picture

Decentralize, plus certificate checking business

If the state has little flexibility in adding fines on top of what CMV act lists, the I agree with Cadambi.

Why do we need a Central Motor Vehicles act?

If Bangalore wants to introduce a CBD congestion surcharge, and increased fines on some corridors (say, the Big 10 corridors), will the state of Karnataka (GoK) first have to ask for an amendment to Central Motor Vehicles Act?

May be the CMV act should apply to National Highways, and all other roads are managed as per state laws.

I have never read the CMV act in detail. Will read sometime next week to understand how much flexibility it leaves to the states.

On the main subject - the fines could be a function of:

  • Area: Construction zones, selected Public transport corridors should be zero tolerance zones. fines 3x the normal
  • Type of vehicle. May be fine could be a function of number of wheels/axles, or the plinth area of the vehicle.
  • Time of the day as well?

Vasanth, you are right. That certificate checking business must stop. that whole procedure is like invasion of privacy/basic rights. If my vehicle has a KA number plate, if I am driving under the speed limit, the vehicle has a clear pollution certificate visible on the front windshield, why on earth does a cop have to waste his as well as my precious time checking the papers!? There must be some "clue", and a published procedure on who is stopped "at random" and why. bottom line

  • You can't stop people "at random"
  • If you stop someone, it has to be for some published and well known reason, and each stoppage should result in a ticket/fine (because you really saw something wrong before you asked a vehicle to be pulled over)
  • If you must stop and check whatever you want to, please stop everyone, or make everyone slow down, so that you can take a peep inside (like cops do for drunken driving checks)
blrpraj's picture

- Agreed, motor vehicles

- Agreed, motor vehicles must be stopped if there is a traffic rules violation, display of incorrect license plates etc. and subsequently the papers can be checked as part of the traffic stop. Otherwise, randomly stopping motorists to check registration papers is a waste of resources and does not really make enforcement any better.

- Fines should actually be based on severity of violation, something like - jumping a red light is a serious offence and must have a severe penalty. Similarly, speeding in a school zone/construction zone/residential zone should warrant a very stiff penalty 

- Drunken driving must be a zero tolerance offence resulting in spot arrest and immediate cancellation of license(especially if it is a commercial vehicle operator)
nl.srinivas's picture

More than certificate checking

The police need to do more than just the certificate checking. The main reason for such chaotic traffic is indisciplined driving. People should be fined more for zig-zag driving and for not following lane discipline.  I doubt whether increasing the fine will have any better effect. This will just increase corruption. May the govt is better off increasing the number of traffic police and their salary also. We just keep complaining about the traffic police(sorry for being off topic) but never seem to give a thought about their working and living condtions. comment guidelines

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