Taking a cue from Gujarat, Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho on Wednesday hinted at reducing certain steep fines brought in by the amended Motor Vehicles Act.
Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Godinho said, “We will not compromise on road discipline… Motorists must maintain discipline on roads, and we want to educate the people on this.”
He said the government will not be harsh while implementing the amended MV Act.
“We are supposed to implement the central amended MV Act in letter and spirit. There are two aspects of the act. One aspect is the violation of certain traffic rules like drunken driving and driving without licences. Here we have no powers… We have to go by whatever fines the amended act has stipulated. On the other hand, there are certain other traffic offences where we have the leverage to reduce the quantum of fines mandated by the central government,” the minister elaborated.
Stating that the state government will implement the new motor vehicle rules by New Year, Godinho said, “This is my assessment as a member of the cabinet. I will discuss the matter with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and take a final call.”
He said the government is not in a hurry to implement the central act, considering the pathetic conditions of
roads where one cannot ride or drive.
“In such a situation, how can we punish violators of different traffic rules? It will not be fair. We are not in a hurry to impose the new fines, until we repair the roads, which I think, will be done by November, or by December-end or the earliest,” Godinho explained.
The implementation of the amended Motor Vehicles Act stipulating the steep traffic fines may take longer as the transport department will have to wait for Sawant’s consideration after the draft notification receives legal clearance from the law department.
The law department is yet to give its nod to the draft notification empowering enforcement agencies to compound traffic offences. Moreover, the notification will be placed before the Chief Minister for his consideration, which will delay the implementation of the new steep fines.
Sawant has been reported as saying that the revised traffic fines will be imposed only after roads are repaired and a review meeting is held in December on road conditions.
As per the standard operating procedure, the file is examined by the concerned minister with other stakeholders before sending to it the law department for legal vetting.
The consideration of the Chief Minister is required only in case of financial approval.
Until the file is considered by the Chief Minister, we cannot act upon the new fines even if the notifications is issued, sources in the transport department said, adding that there is no clarity from the Centre vis-à-vis the drastic reduction in the revised traffic fines by the Gujarat government.