New Delhi, Aug 21: The punishment for violating traffic rules will become significantly tougher from September, when the government plans to enforce the amended Motor Vehicles Act.
"Higher penalties for traffic violations are being issued for public interest. Increased penalties will help in reducing accidents as people will become more cautious," Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, said on Wednesday.
"The existing fines are decades-old which are required to change," he added.
Per the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, if one is caught driving without license, the fine would be Rs. 5,000 against earlier fine of Rs. 500. Similarly, if one is caught drinking and driving, the penalty will be Rs. 10,000 instead of Rs. 2,000 which is the current norm. It also proposes that the amount of traffic violation fines should be increased at the rate of 10 per cent per year.
For not giving way to emergency services like ambulance, one will have to shell out a fine of Rs. 10,000. If one is caught without wearing a helmet or a seat belt, they will be fined Rs. 1,000 instead of the earlier Rs. 100.
The Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2019 cleared in parliament in the last session, aims to make the roads safer for commuters, Mr Gadkari said. He added that the Centre is working towards improving the quality of roads and the engineering used in building them.
Road offences like drink driving, overloading, riding without a helmet, driving without a license will draw bigger fines, the minister said.
The penalty for vehicles blocking ambulance or fire engines on the roads has also been hiked to reduce such violations.
According to official data, in 2017 there have been over 1.5 lakh accident-related deaths across India.