Skip to Content

Who can legislate to increase fines?

It is a well known fact as even Mr Praveen Sood iterates that the local police, i.e Bangalore City Police do not have powers to fine traffic offences. It is still dictated by the Central Motor Vehicles Act. Even the Chief Minister of Karnataka does not have such legislative powers. Only the Union Minister and the Minister of State, Shri T R Baalu and Shri K H Muniyappa have powers to table an amendment in the Central Motor Vehicles Act. I doubt they can do it within this session of parliament, but IMO, we need to create a momentum in order to have the CMV amended. Ideally, if fines are high, then traffic can be controlled and the fines can act as additional revenue for Bangalore City Police. As it is, fines are very paltry, say Rs. 100 /- or less and even are as much as a decent parking fee lot in some of our city malls! Second, for a city like Bangalore, we need to have highest fine inside the area covered by Inner Core Ring Road, high within Outer Ring Road and less within the Proposed Peripheral Ring Road. In addition, not just parking fines, even one way fines, skipping traffic signals, driving without helmet and seat belts, using high beam can be fined heavily so that such violations are curbed. I propose petitioning the Union Minister and the Minister of State. We have some advantage because of the proximity of the Minister of State, Shri K H Muniyappa who is from Bangalore. Perhaps we can organise a meet with him exclusively to discuss how fines are administered. I welcome your comments!
idontspam's picture

Cess on fines

Can GoK instead legislate to impose a tax/cess on fines like how they are being levied on auto fuel? Only the cess could go up to 3000% based on the type of offence.

tsubba's picture


Cadambi, very observant. These are the types of meta governance issues that the CM and sundry MLAs should be brainstorming about.
Can this be done in such a way that the money stays with the city?

Mr Sood does not seem to be in favour

In today's BMLTA summit, Mr Sood did not seem to be interested in "micro managing" traffic. Hence, he is of the opinion that increasing fines might not work.
However, with due respect, i beg to differ. Effective micro management and macro management are both required. Last mile governance is perhaps the most effective form of governance.
Thankfully, the Bangalore City Traffic Police has something called "Local Traffic Management Committee" (LTMC):
Such a committee could relate to internal dynamics of the area, for example, Malleswaram, where I live and reccomend where parking zones have to be marked and suggest options like parking two wheelers in "conservancies".
The idea is that the LTMC can work within the framework of existant or proposed Parking Policies.
But what is most irritating is the absence of an elected council which can be very effective in implementation and improvement of such policies.
Vox Poppuli Vox Dei!!

s_yajaman's picture

Fines should move with the times

On this one I agree with MCadambi ;).  A fine of Rs.100 for jumping lights was a lot when a salary of Rs.5000/month was considered quite high.  Today the same fine is meaningless for a person who earns Rs.50,000 or rs.100,000 per month. 

Mr.Sood with due respect should check out what Delhi has done.  When I was there recently, the taxi driver put on his seat belt without fail.  he also told me that governors were made compulsory for taxis.  He said there was a Rs.2000 fine for going faster than 60kmph in the city. 


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

narayan82's picture

what about implementing the fines?

A friend,once gave a suggestion: I thougt i absurd, but it did have some truth in it:
  •  Increase the fines, and give the policeman a cut. Hence for each fine of rs 1000/- the SI and his team should get Rs 750/- . This way the chances of the SI or the constable accepting a bribe is less. They wouldn't risk taking a bribe of say Rs.800 (minimum since they anyway get 750). Also, the policeman has the worst job standing in the pollution, with no medical insurance or decent salary. Its a painstaking job.
After thinking over it,it seems not a bad idea. But the problem is the current "bribes" arent property of the policeman, but are passed on righ till the top. So the cop really doesnt have a choice! 
Back to the point: Even if we do increase the fine, how do we stop the 100/200 rupee notes exchanging hands illegaly?
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer

Fines are adjusted to income in developed countries

You wouldn't believe this, but see this:
"A director of the Finnish telecommunications giant, Nokia, has received what is believed to be the most expensive speeding ticket ever.
In Finland, traffic fines are proportionate to the latest available data on an offender's income. "
Maybe we should do the same thing in Bangalore. Then all of a sudden, our techies should become traffic angels! ;-) (just kidding)
silkboard's picture

the problem and some ideas

BTW, here are the current fine amounts: fine table.
Thanks for bringing up LTMCs, good point and idea mcadambi.
High spot fines increase the chance of bribing at lower levels. I am sure you and me don't 'haggle' much these days because 15 minutes is not worth the Rs 50 you may save. With such differential incomes, 1000 Rs fine for jumping lights means a lot of "local haggling".
There are two problems with haggling. one, yes - corruption. second - other offenders get away during the negotiations - valubale policing time gets wasted.
If we can somehow take away the "spot payment" aspect, things could get better. Spot fine is okay, but payment is not. May be pay via mobile phone. Or, only check payments accepted. Or, the driver lincese can be a smart card that you just swipe and amount gets debited. You must go and clear the negative balance at BangaloreOne or online. Or you can pre-load the card with some money :)
On the lines of mcadambi's example from Finland, one simple change could to have fines per class of vehicle. Auto industry already does such classifications (a, A+, B, C etc for cars). Such price driven list (at max 5 categories of vehicle) could add some columns to the spot fine table. So the richer folks pay more.
Double or Triple fine zones can alos be thought of. A corridor (big radial road) could be double zone. A road-construction zone (these require more disicplene) could be a triple fine zone. Clear signs announcing high-fine zones should be good deterrants.
Sorry - deviated from the subject of who can really legislate.
May be the state can put a surcharge on top of fines. "Class of vehicle" surcharge?. Bigger vehicles take more space, and road space is property of the state, so the state government would collect something on top of the fines listed by CMV act.
How about collecting some money annually? You pay an annual "road use charge", which is higher if you have traffic violations on you. This gets into the lifetime registration charge vs annual vehicle registration charges debate thing. Lifetime road-tax needs to make way for the annual system IMHO, but this is a separate debate.
silkboard's picture

Karnataka acts - fine for cattle etc

Just noticed that at the end of the traffic fine table (here), there is a separate section marked as "KArnataka Police/Traffic Act". See the entries:


01. Footpath Vendor  92 (G) Court Fine 
02. Stray Cattle  92 (e) Court Fine 
03. No Entry for Cycle  92 (b) Court Fine 
04. without Light for Cycle  92 (a) Court Fine 
05.  Jay Walker  Rule 6, 18 K.T.C.Act  Court Fine 


So, does this mean that the state can legislate new fines on top of whats listed by CMV act? How does Karnataka Traffic Act play with CMV?


Vasanth's picture

Incentive to fining cop and MBO for fining 'n' offenders

One way to avoid bribing is to introduce Incentives to cops for each fine they put. Cops may become ridiculous, but, the system improves.

nijavaada's picture

who does what - needs to be clear

I think the spot-fine list projected in that BTP page mostly talks about fines imposed on violations on the road.. and the ones silkboard pointed out seem to be ones imposed on people obstructing the free flow of vehicles on the road. (Taking bicycles within this looks weird though!) So it looks like anything that is supposed to be on the road, but violating the rules is fined by the CMV act, and anything that is not supposed to be on the road, but is, and hence violating some rule, is permitted to be fined by the state traffic dept.

This is exactly what is going wrong in our system of governance. There's no clear decentalization of governance. Road transport of all the obvious things must belong to the state list but still seems to be sitting pretty in the concurrent list in CMV pages - controlled by the central govt.

A re-look at the items that are covered under state-list/central-list and the items under concurrent-list is the key to framing that ideal governance that can only take a setup such as in India towards better times.


-Nijavaada comment guidelines

Posting Guidelines apply for comments as well. No foul language, hate mongering or personal attacks. If criticizing third person or an authority, you must be fact based, as constructive as possible, and use gentle words. Avoid going off-topic no matter how nice your comment is. Moderators reserve the right to either edit or simply delete comments that don't meet these guidelines. If you are nice enough to realize you violated the guidelines, please save Moderators some time by editing and fixing yourself. Thanks!

about seo | forum