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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Kerala government slashes fines under Motor Vehicles Act

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Kerala government on Wednesday reduced fines for traffic offences under the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019.

india Updated: Oct 24, 2019 06:29 IST

Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Men drive along a road cutting through a rubber estate with rubber trees on either side in Koottamveli, Idukki, Kerala. Image used for representational purpose only.
Men drive along a road cutting through a rubber estate with rubber trees on either side in Koottamveli, Idukki, Kerala. Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo: Getty images)
         

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Kerala government on Wednesday reduced fines for traffic offences under the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019. While some of the fines were reduced to almost half, the penalty for drink driving and driving by minors has been left untouched.

Fines for helmet-less travelling and driving without a seat belt have been reduced to Rs 500 as against the existing Rs 1,000. Similarly, the fine of Rs 10,000 for using mobile phones while driving has been slashed to Rs 2,000.

Penalty for speeding a light motor vehicle has been reduced to Rs 1,500 from Rs 5,000. If caught speeding a medium heavy vehicle, one would have to pay Rs 3,000 against the earlier penalty of between Rs 2,000 and 5,000. Fine for competitive and dangerous driving is Rs 5,000 against the earlier Rs 10,000.

However, there is no relief for tipsy drivers, who will have to shell out Rs 10,000 as prescribed under the MV Act. Similarly, the fine for underage driving will continue to be Rs 10,000.

Justifying the government move, state transport minister AK Saseendran said, “There was a general complaint that fines were high so we reduced it slightly. But it doesn’t mean we are encouraging offenders, we are all for safe driving.”

Kerala is among the five states to have implemented the Act, the others being Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Assam. Gujarat was the first one to amend the penalties and implement the Act with reduced fines and was followed by Uttarakhand while Karnataka is considering such a move. Some states, including Rajasthan, have proposed revised fines, which will have to be approved and notified by the state government.