Nitin Gadkari: ‘Traffic police won’t be relevant in deciding violations due to use of tech’


Traffic violations will be captured with the help of technology, making the traffic police irrelevant in this regard, once the recently-passed Motor Vehicles Act 2019 comes into effect with all its newly-framed rules, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.

Gadkari said a majority of the provisions may come into effect on September 1. “As per the Act, traffic violations will be captured on cameras and with the help of technology. So traffic police will have no relevance in deciding violations, he told reporters. However, extracting fines is not the intent of the law; making people aware about traffic violations is,”  he said.

Ministry officials said States are also being given time to get themselves technologically equipped.

The ministry has drawn up a list of 63 clauses that do not require framing of new rules, and sent them to be vetted by the Law Ministry. They may be notified and come into force by September 1 once the Law Ministry gives a go-ahead. These clauses deal with penalties, licences, registration and National Transport Policy, among others.

On other clauses for which rules have to be framed, Gadkari said steps have already been initiated and rules will be notified as and when due processes are completed.

The new law enshrines up to 10 times higher financial penalties for regular traffic violations. The penalty for drunk driving will be increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000, while not wearing a seatbelt will attract a fine of Rs 1,000 instead of Rs 100.

Juvenile drivers will attract a fine of Rs 25,000 and their guardian or owner of the vehicle will get a three-year jail term, besides the minor offender being tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.

Asked about possible harassment by the traffic police misusing the steep penalties, Gadkari said the fines are meant to act as a deterrent against violations. “We hope people do not violate the law,”  he said.

After nudging people to buy Fastag RFID tags for digital, contactless payment of tolls on highway toll plazas, the ministry has decided that Fastags will be made mandatory to cross toll plazas from December this year.

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