Zakir Memon, a fruit seller in Gujarat is unable to find a helmet that fits his head. And hence when he was stopped by the traffic police, he was let go without paying the hefty challan warranted for not wearing one. Mamon is a fruit seller in Gujarat’s Chota Udaipur district. He explained to the cops that he is carrying all the required documents and that he is a law-abiding citizen but is not wearing a helmet simply because he is not able to find one that fits his head. He further explained that he had visited each and every shop in the city and was still not able to find a helmet for himself. The traffic cops, when found out that Mamon’s problems are genuine, let him go and did not issue a challan.
Amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act include many new provisions amongst which are those that warrant hefty fines for traffic violations. Under the new regulations, the fine for not wearing a helmet has been increased to Rs 1,000 along with the temporary suspension of licence for a period of three months. That said, Gujarat is amongst the states which have decided to implement the new regulations but with with a drastic reduction in the penalty amount. States such as Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, however, have decided not to implement the amendments altogether.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, who has been at the forefront of bringing in the amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act clarified that each state has the power to implement or not implement the new regulations. He said that the idea behind the revision of the fines is that these will prompt road users to follow traffic rules and in turn make Indian roads safer. He further said that it is in no way a measure to generate revenue.
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