The state government is mulling implementing the Motor Vehicles (Amended) Act, 2019, albeit, with riders. It is looking at implementing only those provisions under the Act immediately that penalise motorists who risk not only their lives but also of others on the road. These included acts like rash driving, drunk driving and entering the wrong lane, which attract heavy penalty, including imprisonment, under the Act.
Transport Minister Anil Parab has, meanwhile, asked the transport department to formulate a proposal to ensure that the steep fines proposed for other violations under the Act are rationalised and tweaked for Maharashtra, depending on the gravity of the rule flouted by a motorist.
This comes after the Centre had, last week, issued an ultimatum to the state government, warning it to implement the Act. Ahead of the state polls last year, the BJP-led Maharashtra government had refused to implement the Act.
The Centre’s letter had stated that “disobedience could attract provisions of Article 356, and one could proceed on basis that central laws would implicitly be obeyed by state government”. “If the political dispensation is not comfortable with steep fines, then those violations that can risk lives of others should be implemented immediately,” said an official.
“Many motorists do not wear helmets while dropping, may be their children, within their colony. There might be someone who might drive at 45 kmph instead of the expected 40 kmph, as one does not keep an eye on the speedometer while driving. Such motorists cannot be penalised for rash driving,” Parab said.
Those who indulge in drink driving and enter wrong lanes should be given harshest punishment, including jail time, but not everyone should be measured on the same scale, he said. The proposed rules, thus formulated, will be discussed with Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari for his approval.
“We hope that the revised rules will be ready within a week. I will meet Gadkariji with the proposal and seek his view,” he added.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was cleared in June 2019, following which it came into effect across the country from September 1, 2019.