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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Traffic police claim hefty fines made city roads safer

Subhendu Ray, Hindustan Times   New Delhi, July 18, 2013
First Published: 01:20 IST(18/7/2013) | Last Updated: 01:22 IST(18/7/2013)

The police have claimed a decline in road accidents and better road discipline among commuters, following invocation of special powers to stringently implement traffic rules.

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The same had been done ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2010 when the police had hiked the penalty for lane violation up to R2,000.

Road deaths have come down from 975 till July 15 last year to 892 this year, the traffic police said. They said higher penalty for certain violations has helped improving road safety in the Capital.

Over the past two years, the police have increased penalty for several major violations such as misuse of red beacon on cars, unauthorised parking at certain locations and speeding. The latest to the list is defective number plates.

As per the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act 1988, penalty for wrongly using beacon light is mere R100. But, the traffic police in 2011 started imposing a fine of R2,000, declaring it a permit violation.

Failing to curb road accidents, the traffic police have also started slapping drivers with higher penalty for speeding. “Those who drive their cars at more than 20km over the speed limit are considered under the category of ‘dangerous driving’ for which the penalty is R1,000. We issue a challan of R1,400 to such drivers -- R400 for speeding and R1,000 for driving dangerously,” said an officer.

Similarly, in April, the traffic police increased the penalty for illegal parking on 60 roads from R100 to R600. This was done after the Delhi government approved a draft notification prepared and submitted by the traffic police. “We categorized these roads as tow-away zone or clamp zone,” the officer said.

From Thursday, the police will start issuing court challans of R2,000 to drivers of vehicles with defective number plates. Earlier, the penalty for the violation was Rs. 100.

“We have been calling for the amendment of the MV Act, 1988 since penalty prescribed under the law are very nominal and hardly any deterrent. This prompted us to increase penalty for some major violations within the maximum permissible limit as per the law,” said Anil Shukla, additional commissioner of police (traffic).

He said while increasing penalty for certain violations traffic police ensured that transparency is maintained so that prosecuting cops cannot misuse the provisions for higher penalties. Many of the violations are recorded as evidence.


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