Motor Vehicle Act: Protest outside Gadkari’s house; traffic fines aimed at saving lives, says ministerhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/motor-vehicle-act-protests-outside-gadkari-house-traffic-fines-5986742/

Motor Vehicle Act: Protest outside Gadkari’s house; traffic fines aimed at saving lives, says minister

The amended provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act came into effect from September 1 and since then, heavy fines are being imposed for offences like over speeding, drunk driving and driving without a helmet.

Motor Vehicle Act: Protests outside Gadkari's house; traffic fines aimed at saving lives, says minister
IYC members gathered outside the residence of Union Transport Minister to protest against the new traffic rules. (ANI Video grab)

Angry over the heavy fines being imposed for violating traffic rules under the Motor Vehicles Act, Indian Youth Congress (IYC) held a protest outside the residence of Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday. The IYC members were seen raising slogans against the government and even lifting up a scooter in the air to mark their protest.

Indian Youth Congress (IYC) president Srinivas BV said they tried to gift two old motorcycles and scooters to Gadkari to make him realise how people were being forced to pay the fine that are higher than the value of their old vehicles, according to PTI.

The protesters trying to head towards Gadkari’s residence at Moti Lal Nehru Road in Delhi, but were stopped at a police barricade.

However, the IYC protesters were not able to gift the two-wheelers to the Union minister. Instead, they handed over the vehicles to Delhi Police personnel.

“We asked them to give it to the minister,” IYC media in-charge Amrish Ranjan Pandey was quoted as saying by the news agency.

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Srinivas termed the hike in fines under the amended Act an “unrealistic move” that, he alleged, came without any preparation.

However, Gadkari has defended steep fines under MVA, saying that it was not the government’s intention to impose heavy penalties but to bring road discipline and preventing accidents that cause loss of lives.

“First of all, the MV Act comes under the Concurrent List. Both state and Central governments have a right to make laws on it. As for the fines, there is a gap like from Rs 10 to 100. So, the state government take a decision in this regard. It is not the government’s intention to earn revenues through fines,” he was quoted as saying by ANI today.

He also said that the lives of people are more important than fines. “The problem is they neither have fear nor respect for laws. Aren’t the lives of people more important than fines? if you don’t break the laws, you won’t be fined. And I want to thank you for your (media) reporting. Now people are getting their driving licences and other documents. Accidents will reduce. The lives of people will be saved, that is our priority,” he said.

After the Motor Vehicle Act (2019) came into effect earlier this month, a two-wheeler rider was fined Rs 23,000 in Gurugram for various norms violations, while a truck driver was given challan for Rs 59,000.

(With inputs from ANI/PTI)