Kerala reduces traffic fines, but no cheer for tipsy drivers
Kerala’s transport minister A K Saseendran said there was several complaints that the fines were quite high and unaffordable.Updated: Oct 23, 2019, 20:21 IST
The CPI(M)-led Government in Kerala has decided to reduce fines for traffic offences following a popular demand from a large section of the people, state transport minister A K Saseendran said Wednesday after a cabinet meeting.
Though some of the fines were reduced to almost half, the government left untouched the penalty for drunk driving and driving by minors.
Fines for helmet-less travelling on two-wheelers and driving without seat belt have been reduced to Rs 500 from the current Rs 1000. Similarly the fine of Rs 10,000 for using mobile phones while driving was slashed to Rs 2000. But there were no cheers for tipsy drivers -- the offenders will have to shell out Rs 10,000 as prescribed under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019. Similarly the fine for underage driving will remain at Rs 10,000.
The government also increased the fine for driving unregistered vehicles and vehicles without fitness certificate to Rs 3000 from the existing Rs 2000. Penalty for over speeding by light motor vehicles will now be Rs 1500 against the existing Rs 5000. For medium heavy vehicle the fine will be Rs 3000 (earlier it was between Rs 2000 and 5,000). Fine for competitive and dangerous driving was slashed to Rs 5000 from Rs 10,000.
“There were many complaints that the fines were quite high. Many came forward saying they were not affordable. We reduced it slightly. But it doesn’t mean we are encouraging offenders. We are all for sane and safe driving,” Saseendran said.
Earlier he had sent a letter to Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari requesting flexibility to fix fines. The new fines will come into force with immediate effect.
Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Jharkhand had earlier slashed traffic fines after the amended Motor Vehicles Act which came into force on September 1, substantially increased fines for traffic offences.