Fine collections up as new rules bite traffic violators in Uttar Pradesh

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on August 16, 2019 Published on August 15, 2019

Rules on roads of India are changing fast in the recent months, especially after the Parliament green-signalled a new law in July that mandates a sharp hike in fines for traffic violation.

For instance, in some states like the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, fines for traffic defaults had been increased by the state government in June, two months before new law Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2019 came into being.

In Noida alone, the monthly penalty collection from traffic defaulters has jumped 14 fold, after the implementation of the revised rates. Traffic police in the city collected over ₹1.4 crore as penalties in July this year, a manifold jump from the paltry ₹5-10 lakh a month that they collected earlier.

Also read: Can we change the way we drive?

The Centre has allowed states to implement the Act as per their convenience. So, UP has implemented the new penalties since first week of June. Different states are in different stages of enforcing the law. Delhi has made arrangements like fitting the cameras, while the handheld devices of traffic police used to print receipts are being updated.

On Tuesday, the Superintendent of Police (Traffic) office of Gautam Budh Nagar saw a snaking queue of traffic violators. Drivers plying in the National Capital Region usually perceive that the traffic rule implementation in Delhi is stricter than in Noida. So, many of the stumped drivers in the defaulters queue in Noida, were people with vehicles registered in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

Increased collections

The increase in collections is also aided by the use of technology by Noida Traffic Police, who now capture traffic violations of vehicles through their mobile phones, apart from CCTVs, to generate challans — irrespective of where a vehicle is registered.

Amit Rana was fined ₹1,500 for not wearing his seatbelt while driving in Greater Noida. The ammount was a result of two challans raised within 30 seconds — ₹500 for the first and ₹1,000 for the second. “I was driving. The moment I saw the police click a photo of mine, I knew I was going to be challaned. But the within 30 seconds, another one police had also clicked,” Rana told BusinessLine.

Many people are now realising that each time traffic police takes a picture of a traffic violation, they are likely to be fined. After the police clicks a snap of a driver violating rules, the vehicle owner gets an SMS, if he has provided a mobile number for his vehicle registration to his respective Regional Transport Office.

The fine for not wearing seatbelt and helmet is up five- and ten-fold to ₹500 and ₹1,000 for first and second offences. For using vehicles with black-tinted glasses, the penalty is up 25 times to ₹2,500, the fine for driving without license is Rs 2,500, while driving on wrong side will cost ₹1,000. The penalty for over-speeding will attract five-fold penalty of ₹2,000 (first time) and ₹4,000 (second time).

Vehicle owners can also pay penalties in the UP government’s online portal.

Feeling the pinch

Rashmi (name changed), who was at the police station to pay ₹1,000 fine for a second time violation of not wearing seat belt, rued, “This was my husband who had just got into the vehicle in the neighborhood roads. And the police guys standing on the opposite side under a tree quickly clicked a snap.”

As she poured her grief to the traffic police staffer, adding that she is from a family of policemen, a super-busy police who was collecting fines and issuing receipts, nodded with empathy, “I myself have paid three times.”

Not that this penalty collection in cash is for the police. “We have to first check if the traffic violator has requisite money. Otherwise, I have to pay from my pocket. This is because the systems are online and do not allow reversal,” a police official on duty said.

One driver had to shell out ₹4,600 for about seven traffic violations. Rudra, a commercial cab driver whose vehicle is registered in Delhi, had to clear his “challans” for some seven-eight tickets, related to not wearing seat-belt and overspeeding.

He got to know about the pending challans in Noida when he went to renew his commercial vehicle fitness in Delhi, which is required once every year. Three of these were for traffic violations in May 2019. “It’s a lot of money to pay in one month,” said Rudra.

Some people wanted to know the specific time of the day when the traffic violation was committed as the vehicle was owned by some leasing company, and there were multiple drivers using the vehicle.

Akshaya Kumar had to shell out ₹500 for driving on the wrong side of the road, a traffic violation committed in February. “With these new U-turns in Noida, I drove a small portion of the road on wrong side to save a drive of extra 1.5 km,” he said.

Published on August 15, 2019
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