Lawmakers and government servants caught violating traffic rules should shell out ten times the fine imposed on general public, a group of state transport ministers have told the government on Friday.
The group set up by the Centre has also recommended increasing fines for various traffic violations such as talking on mobile phone while driving from the present Rs 100 to Rs 1000. For subsequent violation the fine will be Rs 2000.
To curb rising fatalities from underage drivers, the group has recommended stringent punishment for parents of children who are caught driving. “Such parents will have to face three-year jail and Rs 20,000 penalty. It will be treated as abetment of offence by the parents,” Rajasthan transport minister Yoonus Khan, who heads the group told HT after its second meeting in Bangalore.
Besides, the child will have to serve term in a juvenile home if a person is killed in the accident. If an underage driver is caught, he/she will have to do community service for a period of three months.
The government’s push for stricter road safety comes amid a growing call to make parents accountable after a Class 12 student in north Delhi’s upmarket Civil Lines mowed down a 33-year-old marketing consultant with his father’s Mercedes car last month.
The group set up in February to review road safety rules also recommended increasing the minimum traffic violation fine from Rs 100 for red light jumping to Rs 500. Subsequent violation could result in suspension of license for a specified period. For rash driving, the fine will be Rs 5000 and six month jail for first offence and Rs 10,000 and two year jail for subsequent offence. Repeated violation could result in cancellation of license.
The recommendations of the group of ministers will be finalized in consultation with the states as road transport is on the concurrent list. “We will give our final report to road transport minister Nitin Gadkari in June,” Khan told HT.
A senior road ministry official said, “Once we get the report we will then discuss it with states and start the process of amending the Motor Vehicle Act.”
Since the draft Road Transport and Safety bill that has been pending for over two years now will still take some time before it is approved by the cabinet and introduced in the Parliament, the ministry has decided to amend the existing MV Act and incorporate the changes recommended by the group of state transport ministers.
The group submitted its first interim report to Gadkari on April 29 where among other things it recommended extending the validity of driving license from the present 50 years to 60 years. After 60 years, it recommended renewal of license every ten years. Presently driving license is valid for 20 years from the date of issue or until one completes 50 years, whichever is earlier. After that it is renewed every 5 years.
STRICTER PUNISHMENT SUGGESTED■ Underage driving:Parents to face 3 years in prison and Rs 20K penalty. Presently: No provision
■ Drink-driving: Rs 5,000 fine, 6 months jail and suspension of license for 3 yrs. Subsequent offence will fetch 12 mth jail, Rs 10k fine and licence cancellation. Presently: Rs 2,000- Rs3,000 fine and 6 months-2years jail
■ Red light jumping: Rs 500. Subsequent offences fetch Rs 1,000 and suspension of licence. Presently: Rs 100
■ Rash driving: Rs 5,000 and 6 months in jail. Subsequent offence fetches Rs 10,000 and 2 yrs in jail. Presently: Rs 400 and Rs 1,000 for subsequent offence
■ Talking on phone while driving: Rs 1,000. Rs 2000 for subsequent offence. Presently: Rs 100 - Rs 300