In an illogical claim, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol has said accidents are caused by “good and safe” roads and not by bad ones.
Karjol made the comment while weighing in on the steep fines for traffic violations that kicked in this month. “Accidents don’t occur due to bad roads. They happen when roads are good and safer, that’s when accidents are more… People drive at high speeds on our roads. Accidents happen on highways when people drive at speeds above 100kmph,” he said.
Karjol added that while he doesn’t support high fines, decision on whether penalties should be reduced for Karnataka will be taken after discussion in the Cabinet.
BJP-ruled Gujarat was the first to announced a drastic cut ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 in some cases for penalties for traffic violations, which were envisaged under the amended Motor Vehicles Act.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 provides for stricter punishment for various traffic-related offences as well as higher penalties, including compensation of Rs 5 lakh for death and Rs 2.5 lakh for grievous injury in a motor vehicle accident case.
The Act provides for a penalty of Rs 10,000 for not giving way to emergency vehicles and Rs 10,000 for driving despite disqualification. Penalty for dangerous driving has been increased to Rs 5,000 from Rs 1,000, while drunken driving under the new law attracts a fine of Rs 10,000. Penalties for over-speeding range from Rs 1,000- 2,000.
Driving without insurance is punishable with Rs 2,000 fine while driving without a helmet will attract Rs 1,000 penalty and 3-month suspension of licence. Also, the guardian/owner will be deemed guilty in case of road offence by juveniles, while registration of the vehicle will be cancelled.
Traffic violations now attract a penalty of Rs 500 in place of Rs 100 earlier, while disobedience of orders of authorities will attract a minimum penalty of Rs 2,000 in place of Rs 500 earlier.
Cab-aggregators violating licensing conditions will be charged a sum of up to Rs 1 lakh, while overloading of vehicles would attract a penalty of Rs 20,000.
Penalty for unauthorised use of vehicles without a licence has been fixed at Rs 5,000 while those driving without a licence will have to shell out the same amount and those found driving despite disqualification would be fined Rs 10,000.
The penalties are based on the recommendations of transport ministers from 18 states, which were vetted by a standing committee of Parliament