The amended Motor Vehicle Act was passed by Parliament in July-August this year, but its steep fines have been at the Centre of a debate, leading to some states deciding to give breathing time to the public before enforcing it.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday expressed displeasure over Shiv Sena leader and state Transport Minister Diwakar Raote’s “unilateral” announcement to keep on hold the implementation of the Centre’s amended Motor Vehicles (MV) Act which stipulates steep fines for violation of traffic rules. Speaking to PTI, he also indicated revision in the amount of fines to make it less harsh on the common man, without compromising on the “deterrent value” of the Act.
Days after Raote requested the Centre to reconsider the hefty fines under the amended provisions and announced holding their enforcement, Fadnavis said sometimes he 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 a policy. Hence, it should have been discussed with me and the entire cabinet,” the chief minister told PTI.
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The amended Motor Vehicle Act was passed by Parliament in July-August this year, but its steep fines have been at the Centre of a 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. He, however, added that such reduction in the fine amounts must not “compromise on its deterrent value”.