Hyderabad: For those found violating traffic norms, the city traffic police are gearing up to start imposing heavy penalties from next month. The orders from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways are awaited and once the same are received, stiffer penalties are to be imposed under the amended Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019.
To make sure that motorists avoid traffic violations which are sure to end up causing dents to their wallets, traffic police for the last few days have been issuing advisories on the impending new penalties. Notice boards too are set up by the police that say ‘Police is watching, save your money and follow traffic rules’.
The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari had already said that Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in Parliament and a decision taken to implement 63 clauses of the Act from the month of September.
Those who do not have a valid driving license could end up paying Rs.5,000 as against the present Rs.500 as per the new bill which has increased penalties steeply for traffic violations. And for those not offering way to an ambulance coming their way, the amended Motor Vehicle Act has now added a new offence and a penalty of Rs.10,000.
Speaking to Telangana Today, Anil Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said, “We are awaiting the official orders and once we receive, the new penalties would be immediately enforced. In fact, this would improve traffic system as many would follow traffic rules to avoid heavier penalties”.
Penalty on traffic rule violations include over-speeding, drunk driving, driving without helmet, offences by juvenile, provisions pertaining to driving licences, vehicle registration, dangerous driving and without insurance which have been increased by five to 10 times.
On minors, violating the traffic rules, the amended bills said that guardian/owner would be deemed to be guilty along with a penalty of Rs 25,000 with three years of imprisonment and the juvenile would be tried under Juvenile Justice Act. The registration of motor vehicle would also be cancelled.
Traffic violations on rise
During the years 2017 and 2018, Hyderabad City traffic police registered as many as over 45,000 cases of convictions majority of which pertained to drunk driving cases followed by driving without licence and cellphone driving.
The data with Hyderabad Traffic Police shows that already more than 5 lakh cases have been booked for various traffic violations in the city under Motor Vehicle Act till June this year and fines to the tune of Rs.9.10 crores have been imposed. In 2018, a total of 8.64 lakh cases have been booked with a fine of Rs.6.10 crore.
Driving under influence is turning out be a major area of concern given the steady rise in the number of cases booked in the last three years. If the drunken drive cases in 2016 were 17,510, the numbers rose to 19,338 in 2017 and 27,744 in 2018.
So far, a whooping Rs 3 crore has been collected as fines for drunk driving alone in the first six months of this year while 929 driving licences of the offenders were suspended, according to city traffic police.
‘Save your money by following traffic rules’
Hyderabad: Save your hard-earned money for your family or yourself is the advice from the Traffic Police in the capital. With the penalties for various traffic violations under the Motor Vehicle Act being revised and all set to be implemented from September 1, the Traffic Police have taken a new route to create awareness on the same.
Posters and banners with the revised penalties are being put up at major junctions in the city, but with a difference. Instead of putting it in a bland way, the police has taken the mentor route. The posters read – ‘Advice! – Save Your Money by Following Traffic Rules!’
The police have also displayed the new structure of penalties stating that by wearing a helmet, one could save Rs.1,000, which was the same amount one would save by wearing a seatbelt. By avoiding cell phone driving, the savings would be Rs.5,000 while by avoiding drunk driving, the savings would double to Rs.10,000, they point out.
Additional DCP (Traffic), Rachakonda, Mohammed Tajuddin Ahmed said the traffic police were taking up a mega awareness campaign across the Commissionerate to advice motorists to honestly follow traffic rules.
“We will be imposing the challans as per the new penalty structure from September 1. To bring in awareness among the motorists, we are campaigning at all important junctions. We are distributing pamphlets to the motorists. Our aim is to help people save money by following simple traffic rules,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Hyderabad K Babu Rao said a similar campaign was launched in the Hyderabad Police limits too and it would be continued till the end of August.
—– ASIF YAR KHAN