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Breaking traffic rules gets costlier in Kolkata, rest of Bengal

Hike aims at instilling discipline and ensuring stricter compliance by motorists and pedestrians

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 26.01.22, 08:01 AM
The fine for driving with an invalid licence has increased from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000.

The fine for driving with an invalid licence has increased from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000.

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Breaking traffic rules in Bengal could literally prove costly now.

The state government has issued a revised penalty chart with increased fine amounts for offences under the Motor Vehicles Act — like driving without a valid driving licence, riding two-wheelers without helmets, dangerous driving, excessive speeding or driving without wearing the seatbelt.

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The fines for some of the offences, such as allowing one’s car to be driven by someone without a valid licence or driving dangerously on the roads, have increased five times. 

The fine for driving with an invalid licence has increased from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000.

Earlier, someone caught riding a two-wheeler without a helmet was fined Rs 100. Now, the offender has to pay Rs 1,000 for the same offence and will forgo his or her driving licence for three months.

Earlier, a motorist or a motorcyclist caught for racing was prosecuted with a penalty of Rs 500. Now, he or she will be fined Rs 5,000. 

For every consequent offence under the same section, he or she will have to pay Rs 10,000.

The fine against the owner of a car who allows his vehicle to be driven by someone without a valid or proper licence has also been increased. Earlier, the amount was Rs 1,000. It has been raised to Rs 5,000.

A notification issued by state transport secretary Rajesh Kumar Sinha on Monday enumerates the changes.

The notification mentions amended penalties under 26 sections of traffic violations and also says that only officers of the rank of motor vehicles inspector (MVI) in Kolkata and police officers not below the rank of sergeant and sub-inspector in Kolkata police and Bengal police will be empowered to execute the order. 

Hours after the notification was issued by the transport department, all traffic guards in Kolkata police were instructed by Lalbazar to start implementing the new fine structure from Wednesday. 

Senior officials of the state transport department said the decision was made to ensure stricter compliance by motorists on the road and safety of motorists as well as pedestrians.

At least four police officers, who spoke separately to this newspaper, said they expected the steep penalties to instil greater discipline on roads.

“We have tried gifting roses, handing over free helmets and carried out various awareness campaigns to make motorcyclists aware of the rules and alert them against the evils of not wearing helmets. But as the fine amount was only Rs 100, they would barely care for it. Now that the amount has been increased to Rs 1,000, I am sure it will pinch their pockets,” said an officer posted in the Park Circus area in south Kolkata. 

Last Saturday, a 33-year-old man at the wheel of a Honda City crashed into a roadside tea stall and an eatery killing a man and injuring six persons in Jadavpur in south Kolkata. The police found that the man had left his driving licence in Bangalore, where he works. 

“Steeper fines for driving without a licence will make people more serious about their responsibility once they take to the wheel,” said an officer involved in the investigation of the Jadavpur incident. 

The central government had passed the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act in 2019 increasing the fine amounts in several traffic violations. The state government on Tuesday notified the same amendments so that they could be executed in Bengal as well.

Penalties new and old

• Non-possession of driving licence and certificate of fitness, permit, insurance

Earlier: Rs 500, second offence Rs 500

Now: Rs 500, second offence Rs 1,500

• Plying vehicle without effective and valid DL

Earlier: Rs 1,000, second offence Rs 1,000

Now: Rs 5,000

• Driving by person disqualified for holding/obtaining DL

Earlier: Rs 500, second offence Rs 500

Now: Rs 10,000

• Driving at excessive speed

Earlier: Rs 400, second offence Rs 1,000

Now: First offence — Rs 1,000 for smaller private or commercial vehicles, Rs 2,000 for commercial medium goods vehicles. Second offence — Rs 2,000 for smaller private or commercial vehicles, Rs 4,000 for commercial goods vehicle with DL impounding

• Driving dangerously

Earlier: Rs 1,000

Now: Rs 5,000, second offence Rs 10,000 if committed within 3 years from first offence

• Unauthorised racing of speed

Earlier: Rs 500, second offence Rs 500

Now: Rs 5,000, second offence Rs 10,000

• Plying vehicle without valid certificate of fitness

Earlier: Rs 5,000, second offence Rs 10,000

Now: Rs 10,000, second offence Rs 10,000

• Use of safety belts by driver, seating passenger and children below 14

Earlier: Rs 100, second offence Rs 300

Now: Rs 1,000

• Not wearing protective headgear

Earlier: Rs 100, second offence 300

Now: Rs 1,000 and cancellation of DL for 3 months

Last updated on 28.01.22, 08:48 AM
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