Chandigarh, December 20
Overloading commercial vehicles could attract a fine of Rs 20,000 in Punjab, while using expensive imported vehicles with a left-hand drive, which does not prescribe to Indian driving norms, will attract a fine of Rs 1,00,000. The notification on fines to be imposed for various traffic violations was issued by the transport department today.
In order to ensure better enforcement of traffic rules, Sub Divisional Magistrates (SDMs), besides officials of the transport department, have also been authorised to compound the traffic offences.
Interestingly, the notification also carries details of seven general offences under Section 177 of The Motor Vehicles Act, wherein the state government can decide on traffic offences and impose composition fee. These include amongst others unauthorised use of red beacon. All MLAs and VIPs who have been using “lal or neeli batti” will be asked to pay composition fee of Rs 1,000 for the first offence and Rs 1,500 for subsequent offences.
A total of 43 different traffic violations have been earmarked which will attract fines. Triple riding on two wheelers, one of the most common violations, riding without helmet and not providing way for fire service vehicle or ambulance will attract fines ranging from Rs 1000 – Rs 10,000, and disqualification for holding driving licence for three months. In case one drives the vehicle during the suspension period of their licence, a challan of Rs 10,000 will be imposed.
While the Centre had notified the amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act earlier this year, Punjab was dragging its feet over increasing the challans. State transport department officials said though the fines had been increased, they were lesser than that imposed in Haryana, UP and Bihar. Punjab had ranked second in the country in severity of road mishaps last year, with a fatality rate of over 73 per cent against the national average of 32.4 per cent. Overspeeding — which was the biggest cause of deaths in road accidents in in the state will attract a fine between Rs 1,000-2,000.