Shiv Sena opposes penalties: ‘Can poor people pay steep traffic fines?’
The Shiv Sena on Saturday expressed opposition to steep fines imposed on traffic violators after the amendment in the Motor Vehicles Act.
The Sena, in an editorial in its party mouthpiece Saamana, questioned whether the hefty fines would be “affordable” for people.
The editorial explained that while the party was not against the new law, it was opposed to the levying of steep fines.
To crack the whip on traffic violators across the country, including those driving without a valid licence, or under the influence of alcohol, the Centre amended the Act.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, came into effect from September 1. Subsequently, state governments will issue a notification to implement the new Act.
The editorial, published on Saturday, said that the new Act spearheaded by Nitin Gadkari has been passed but has invited sharp criticism for the hefty fines.
The editorial said, “The new law is being opposed because of the 10-times higher fines for traffic rule violations proposed under it... The law is welcome but will the hefty fine be affordable to the poor people of the country?”
The Sena added that the Central Surface Road Transport Ministry will have to “rethink” the steep fines.
“The demand that the government should first plug all the potholes and then bring in a new law is not wrong. The potholes on roads invite accidents,” the editorial said.
State transport minister and Sena leader, Diwakar Raote, who has earlier voiced his opposition to the steep fines, said that the department has submitted the issue to the law and judiciary department for its opinion whether the fine amounts can be reduced.
The Sena pointed out that many Bharatiya Janata Party-governed states such as Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand have already opposed the new law.