New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government is considering a reduction in the new penalties for breaking traffic rules, joining a growing band of states that find the fines listed in the amended Motor Vehicles Act too high.
“In the interest of the people of Uttar Pradesh, the government is reconsidering what and how it should be done,” state Transport Minister Ashok Kataria said Thursday on the implementation of the new fines.
“We will soon take a decision and come out with the rates of penalty,” the minister said.
The move follows similar decisions by other state governments, reluctant to accept the high fines specified under the Central law.
BJP governments in Gujarat and Uttarakhand have announced reductions in fines that were drastically hiked in the amended law.
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had on Wednesday defended the steep increases, even while saying that the states are free to roll them back.
“If they want to reduce the fines let them, but the lives of people should be saved and there should be less accidents. There has to be awareness over this,” he said.
In Uttar Pradesh, opposition Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav has criticised the hike in penalties.
Slamming the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over the death of a techie in Noida allegedly after an altercation with traffic police, Yadav on Wednesday demanded an end to the “harassment” of people.
“It is very saddening that due to traffic terrorism of the BJP government, software engineer died in Noida due to a heart attack during vehicle checking, Yadav tweeted.
“BJP-ruled Gujarat has rejected the repressive rules. The UP government should also stop harassment in the state,” he added.
Under the amended Act, violations such as drunken driving attract a fine of Rs 10,000 and/or imprisonment of six months to two years.
Penalty for driving without licence was increased from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000. Not wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler can now lead to a fine of Rs 1,000 and suspension of the driving licence for the next three months.