Next time when a traffic cop catches you for not wearing a seatbelt and penalises you for Rs 2,500, don’t be surprised. He is just doing his job like he has been doing for many years, only difference is the quantum of fine that you need to pay.
The Government of India is planning a steep increase in fine for traffic offences and introduce penalty points in the proposed new motor vehicle law. Once a driver accumulates 12 negative points the driver's licence would be suspended for a year. If a driver whose licence has been suspended still commits offences and accumulates another 12 points, the licence would be cancelled for five years. Violation of traffic signals, triple driving on a motorcycle, drunk driving, using vehicles without registration or in an unsafe condition may attract three negative points in each case and a hefty fine which may look unbelievable
GOI is taking this step to curb the amount of fatalities that take place daily, the number is believed to be 380. They believe it is a result of violating the traffic rules and hence, they are planning to implement such harsh fines under this new law. Based on the lines of countries like the UK, the US, Australia and China (which has the world's second highest road deaths after India), the proposed law is likely to push the penalty for jumping traffic light to Rs 5,000 and maximum penalty point since every such violation is a "potential accident".
This is a very good initiative by the new government. However, the chances of the traffic cops filling their pockets with bribe will be very high, which will become a nightmare for the motorists. Before implementing this law, we would like to see the government making sure the cops are not misusing this new law.