Traffic offences: Beware of huge fines and jail

The increase in penalties is upto five times for the traffic violations under the proposed amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act.

New Delhi: Drunken driving, jumping red light, over speeding and use of mobile phones behind the wheels among other traffic offences will carry stiffer fine and jail term
under new rules approved by the Union Cabinet on Thursday.

For drivers found heavily drunk with alcohol levels of over 150 mg per 100 ml of blood, the penalty will be two years imprisonment and/or Rs 5,000 as against existing fine of Rs
2,000 and/or imprisonment for upto six months for those with alcohol level exceeding 30 mg per 100 ml of blood.

The increase in penalties is upto five times for the traffic violations under the proposed amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act likely to be introduced in the forthcoming Budget
session of Parliament.

In a bid to tighten the noose around habitual traffic offenders, the Cabinet cleared the manifold increase in penalties by approving the changes to be incorporated in the
amendment which also envisages substantial hike in compensation to accident victims.

Dangerous driving, non-use of seat belts as well as driving without helmets for two-wheelers will also attract higher punishment.

Besides increasing the fine for using mobile phones while driving to Rs 500 for first offence and Rs 2,000-5,000 for subsequent instances, it is also proposed to provide clear
definition of such instruments.

"Mobile phone is any application which can receive and transmit voice, text and picture...," as per the proposal.

It means that not only talking on phone but sending text messages and using hands free instruments for using mobile phone would be considered an offence.

"The Union Cabinet has approved the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act for harsher punishments for offences like drunken driving and violation of traffic rules and also
increased compensation in accident cases," an official said.

He said the amendments are proposed mainly to deal with offenders who violate traffic rules repeatedly.

"The amendment will act as a deterrent," Delhi Police`s Joint Commissioner(Traffic) Satyendra Garg said.

Under one of the proposed amendments, the government has cleared four-fold increase in compensation to Rs 1 lakh in fatal accidents, and Rs 50,000 for grievous hurt in hit and
run cases.


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