The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bill to tackle traffic terror

New Delhi, May 15: Road rogues, be warned.

The Centre today tabled a bill that will allow law enforcers to crack down harder on traffic offenders — in some cases the maximum penalty in the current law becomes the new minimum fine — and increase compensation for accident victims.

In the case of death, the minimum compensation to relatives will be Rs 1 lakh.

The bill introduces the concept of civil liability — a penalty of up to Rs 5,000 which goes to a government fund — for causing injury due to “rash and negligent driving”. This is in addition to criminal charges.

The changes are proposed in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha today.

If you drive around without the vehicle’s registration papers, be prepared to shell out between Rs 4,000 and Rs 10,000 if it is a first-time offence. Repeat transgressions will make you poorer by as much as Rs 20,000.

In Calcutta, a first-timer can get away with the same offence now by paying as little as Rs 300.

However, once the bill is passed and notified, the new penalties will be binding on all states.

The central legislation is different from a Bengal initiative, which is now making an obligatory journey from one department to another, to raise fines on other traffic offences.

Those who break speed limits will pay a minimum fine of Rs 1,000 for the first offence and Rs 2,000 if they are caught again.

The new law will empower policemen to suspend a driver’s licence for up to three months if a test shows that the motorist is drunk.

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