Even as officials in other states are gearing up to implement the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, which imposes heavy penalties for traffic violations, the Telangana government is yet to take a call. Officials of the state government say that they are still discussing the quantum of penalties under the new law.
A police official told TNM that they wanted commuters to be better prepared before they implemented the new Act, in order to reduce any inconvenience to citizens.
Earlier this week, Principal Secretary (Transport) Sunil Sharma, in a statement, said that the government is deliberating upon the quantum of penalties and other modalities and that the Act will not be implemented right away.
The statement also said that officials of the Telangana government were in touch with their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and other states.
Speaking to TNM, an official from the Road Transport Authority (RTA) cited Section 200 of the new Act, which authorises the state government to issue a gazette notification for compounding of certain offences, and to decide who is the official who can compound the offence will be.
"We are waiting for the state government to issue a government order regarding the same. We are expecting it shortly. As soon as we get the orders, we will implement it," the official said.
Meanwhile, although the traffic police in Hyderabad are yet to issue challans with the new penalties, they are carrying out a massive awareness drive, educating people on the hiked fines under the amended Motor Vehicle Act, it is.
Under the new rules, if one is caught driving without a seat belt, a fine of Rs 1,000 will be imposed (it was Rs 100 earlier). If one is caught driving while using a mobile phone, it will invite a fine of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.
Drunken driving earlier used to invite a fine of Rs 2,000. Now, it has been hiked to Rs 10,000. In another move, a driver can be fined Rs 10,000 for not giving way to emergency vehicles such as ambulance and fire brigade.