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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Badnore, Kher differ on implementationof stricter traffic rules

Administrator wants awareness drives first, while MP backs Centre’s move. No call on delaying hefty penalties

chandigarh Updated: Sep 14, 2019 00:52 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
(From left) Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, UT administrator VPSingh Badnore and UT adviser Manoj Parida at the advisory council’s meeting in Chandigarh on Friday.
(From left) Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, UT administrator VPSingh Badnore and UT adviser Manoj Parida at the advisory council’s meeting in Chandigarh on Friday.(HT PHOTO)
         

UT administrator VPS Badnore and local MP Kirron Kher were found at variance over the immediate implementation of hefty traffic fines during the first meeting of the newly constituted advisory council held on Friday.

While Badnore sought sensitising masses before enforcing the revised fines, Kher said the stricter penalties as per the amended Motor Vehicles Act should not be discontinued, as there was visible difference in discipline on roads.

Badnore was of the view that to start with, innovative ways of challaning should be followed. For instance, if a two-wheeler rider is fined for not wearing a helmet, police should buy them a helmet from the penalty. The violation entails a fine of ₹1,000, with provision to temporarily suspend the driving licence.

Traffic cops in Chandigarh however chose not to comment on the issue.

“I am not competent to reply on this. Please ask the transport department, which is the nodal agency for traffic rules notification,” said SSP (traffic) Shashank Anand, when asked whether the ongoing challan drive will be temporarily suspended to educate masses as suggested by the administrator.

The official statement from the administration did not comment on the issue.

4,200 CHALLANS SINCE SEPT 1

Since the amended law came into force on September 1, Chandigarh Traffic Police have issued over 4,200 challans, collecting ₹14 lakh in penalties. Among these, the major violations are riding without helmet, taking illegal U-turn, stopping on zebra crossing and driving without seatbelt.

Some instances of brawls due to hefty challans were reported, while three policemen were dismissed for demanding bribe.

How issue triggered in the advisory council meeting

As Punjab has yet to implement the new rules, and two BJP-ruled states, Gujarat and Uttarakhand, have reduced the penalty, AAP leader and former MP Harmohan Dhawan said Chandigarh must also put the amended fines on hold, as there was a need to first educate people and create requisite road and traffic infrastructure.

Former Congress MP Pawan Bansal sought reduction in penalties.

Dhawan told HT that the administrator supported his views to put the drive on hold for some time. He said traffic segregation and better road infrastructure was a must before imposing heavy fines.

‘SEA CHANGE IN COMMUTERS’ BEHAVIOUR’

When contacted, Kher said, “I don’t agree with it. Centre has taken the right decision. They did not increase fines for generating revenues but to save lives.”

She said, “So many people died in road accidents. Stringent provisions were incorporated so that people don’t commit mistakes.”

Kher said ever since the new rules were implemented in Chandigarh, there had been a sea change in the driving behaviour of commuters. “They are stopping before zebra crossing, wearing helmets and seat belts, and don’t rush,” she added.

“Challaning drive under new rules should continue. There is no need to reduce fines as suggested in the meeting,” the MP said, while asking, “Aren’t people already aware of traffic rules? Everyone knows that they should not drink and drive, resist talking on mobile phone while driving and wear helmets. Centre has introduced the rules to save their lives only.”

First Published: Sep 14, 2019 00:51 IST