“No intention to harass the citizens with hefty fines,” said K Chandrashekar Rao, the Telangana Chief Minister, on the floor of the Telangana Assembly on Sunday, making it clear that the state won't be imposing the heavy fines for traffic and road rule violations under the amended Motor Vehicles Act. The state will, instead, enact their amendments to the Act, clarified the Chief Minister, responding to a question from the AIMIM.
Telangana won't be the only state to not implement the central government’s version of the Act. BJP-led Gujarat implemented the Act but after reducing penalties. Only a few states, such as West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, have decided not to implement the new Act, reported Deccan Chronicle.
The new penalties came into effect from September 1, but until the state announces its version of penalties, the old penalties will continue.
Responding to the question raised by Mohammad Khan of the AIMIM, KCR said, "Telangana government will not impose the penalties as mentioned in the amended MV Act, as we do not want to burden the common man. We are in the process of making changes in the penalties.”
In the weeks before September 1, the Hyderabad traffic police had put up banners at various junctions in the city, explaining various violations and the related steep fines. A police official earlier told TNM that they wanted commuters to be better prepared before they implemented the new Act, to reduce any inconvenience to citizens.
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.
Drunk 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. Motorists in the state, at the moment, can expect fines below this benchmark to be implemented in the state.