Bengaluru: Amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act that kicked in on September 1 have dearly pinched the pockets of many commuters flouting traffic rules. While various states are still figuring out ways to implement or not implement the new regulations, the Karnataka government has decided to take a re-look at the hefty penalties being imposed.
However, it was Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol's statement on Tuesday justifying the fines and explaining the cause of the large number of accidents that took everyone by surprise. Talking to reporters in Chitradurga, Karjol, said, almost apologetically, that not bad roads, but good roads were responsible for the large number of accidents.
"Accidents don't occur due to bad roads, they happen because roads are good and safe. That’s when accidents rise in numbers. On our roads now-a-days, people can drive at high speeds of above 100 km/hour and that is why there are higher number of accidents," he said. While stating that he didn’t support the very heavy fines, Karjole said he would have to review the situation after discussing it with the Cabinet.
State Transport Minister Lakshman Savadi has also said that the issue was discussed with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and a decision on whether to relax the penalties would be taken in the next two-three days.
"We are watching what states like Gujarat and Maharashtra are doing. We want to implement the rules but also not burden the common man. We will study the Gujarat model of revised traffic fines and implement something similar in Karnataka,” Savadi said.
Days after the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, came into effect, a motorist from Bengaluru was issued a challan of Rs 17000 at the KS Layout police limits. The rider of a Vespa scooter was charged Rs 10,000 for drunken driving, Rs 5,000 for riding without a valid driving licence and another Rs 2,000 for not wearing a helmet. The person riding pillion also did not have a helmet.
Two days ago, former chief minister Siddaramaiah hit out at the BJP-led central and state governments for introducing the amendment to harass common man. He said the government needed to ensure that necessary infrastructure was in place before implementing such rules.
The latest amendment to the fines for traffic violations has become a tool to harass common man. It is definitely necessary to follow traffic rules for the overall order but hefty fines are draining the people.
1/4— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) September 8, 2019
Hefty fines can indirectly catalyse ongoing auto slowdown. Large working capital of small delivery people gets blocked till they produce the documents in case they forgot to carry. Many such issues have to considered before implementing. I urge the govt to reduce fines.
3/4— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) September 8, 2019