‘It is a learning curve’: Prakash Javadekar defends hefty penalties for traffic violations
The amended Motor Vehicles law will bring discipline on roads and the police will need to challan fewer people in the next four months, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Sunday, as he defended stiff penalties for violations of traffic rules.
Addressing a press conference here to mark 100 days of the Modi government, the Information & Broadcasting Minister released a booklet on the works done during the period.
Asked about the recent changes in the MV Act, he said the amendments will help discipline drivers and bring accountability.
“It is a learning curve ... in four months, fewer people will be challaned,” he said, adding that drivers will become aware about their duties and discipline will emerge on roads. “Don’t we have to protect the country from accidents and deaths? Nearly 1.5 lakh people die and 4 lakh are injured every year due to road accidents ... and what are we asking for -- helmets, wearing seat belts, valid licence,” he said.
He said he feels like laughing when stories appear that a fine of Rs 25,000 was imposed on a person who had a scooter worth Rs 15,000. “The time has gone when you don’t follow the law and not keep even a single paper (registration, licence, pollution check certificate,” he said.
Under the amended law, penalty for driving without licence has been increased 10 times to Rs 5,000, while penalty for drunk driving has been increased by five times to Rs 10,000. Several other fines have been hiked to bring in discipline on roads.