Sources said some state transport departments have forwarded the proposal with revised fines to the respective governments for early notification. “The proposed notification specifying the fines and penalties needs approval of the government. We have suggested fixing the quantum of fine and penalties for specific offences, which is allowed in the Act. We are not tweaking penalties and fines relating to offences that are not compoundable,” said a Rajasthan government official.
Compoundable offences are those where violators can pay the fine on the spot to a designated officer from the traffic police or transport department and do not need to visit court.
TOI has learnt that Bihar government is likely to notify the new rules soon while Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Haryana will take at least three more months to implement the amended Act. “It’s up to the state governments so far as announcing the date for implementation of the amended law.
The changes were made after bringing everyone on board. There is no issue, if the state governments fix penalties for offences which they are empowered to do under the MV Act. But if they tweak the penalties for offences that are not compoundable or in case the state government fixes the fine which is lower than the minimum amount as specified in the central Act, then it can lead to some confusion,” said an official.
The Centre has sought opinion from the law ministry whether states can do so.
Though it was expected that states would quickly roll out the amended law considering discriminate violation of traffic rules and paltry fines, which failed to work as a deterrent, it did not happen after Gujarat government’s decision to drastically reduce the fines. “We need to arrive at a uniform fine and penalties for each offence across the country. Someone has to take the lead to start the dialogue, else we will be heading towards a chaotic situation,” cautioned a state transport commissioner, who did not wish to be named.