Even as neighbouring Karnataka and several other states have begun levying the revised spot fines for traffic offences, Tamil Nadu is yet to impose the new penalties.
Sources say that a decision on the implementation of the Motor Vehicle Act amendments will soon be taken with the Chief Minister back in town. However, certain offences have been accorded exorbitant penalties which the Tamil Nadu government plans to revise.
According to reports, 26 clauses in the Motor Vehicles Act which aim to regulate traffic offences and improve adherence to rules will be implemented in Tamil Nadu. The central government had amended as many as 63 clauses in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
Penalties for all offences related to speeding, rash driving, racing, driving without helmets and safety belts will be imposed, as these violations are the major reasons for serious road accidents, sources told TNIE.
However, discussions on other fines - some of which are exorbitant - are still being discussed before a government order implementing the changes is issued.
"As of now, spot fines are being charged with old rates in Tamil Nadu. We are still waiting for the Tamil Nadu government to issue a government order implementing the new penalties. However, since the central government has amended the Motor Vehicles Act, courts can impose the new penalties. We have registered cases for drunken driving - for which the new penalty is Rs 16,000 - and taken the accused to mobile courts and magistrates to pay the fine. For spot fining alone, we have to wait for the government order," an official from the Deputy Commissioner of Traffic Planning office told TNM.
The penalty amount for traffic violations in Tamil Nadu is currently being reviewed by the Chief Minister's Office and it is possible that penalties for certain offences may be reduced.
Feedback from states that imposed the new fines from September 1 has also been included before arriving at a decision.
The Central government in August amended 93 clauses in the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 - ranging from fines for traffic offences, vehicle fitness, vehicle registration and national transport policy. Of this, 63 clauses were extended to the whole country to be brought into effect from September 1. While several states began implementing fresh penalties from September 1, states such as Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Chhattisgarh etc. are yet to follow the revised rules.