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Bengal will not implement Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act: CM

Bengal will not implement Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act: CM

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday stated that the state government will not implement the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act amendment as the new one is too harsh.

At Nabanna on Wednesday, Banerjee stated that the problems should be looked in a humanitarian way. Putting pressure of huge amounts of penalties is not the solution. She further informed that accidents in Bengal have come down a lot since the inception of "Safe Drive, Save Life" campaign.

"We are not implementing the amended MV Act right now. Government officials are of the opinion that if we implement it, it would be a huge burden on the people. It is too harsh," Banerjee added.

She said the Centre should have instead thought of the poor and tried to solve the problem of violation

of road safety rules from a humanitarian ground.

Earlier, the Trinamool Congress MPs protested against the amendment of the MV Act. Banerjee further stated: "We raised the matter in Parliament as it was interfering with the federal structure. Unilateral decisions cannot be taken which can harm people."

Following the Amendment Bill passed in Parliament, senior police officials feared that there are probabilities of confrontation between the traffic police and violators as the new fine amount is very high.

"Paying Rs 100 for a violation and paying Rs 1,000 for the same offence along with disqualification of licence for three months are not the same," said a senior traffic police official.

Earlier from September 1, several states have implemented the amended MV Act and many people have already been penalised worth huge sums of money.

In many cases, the fine amount exceeded the current value of the vehicles and as a consequence, the vehicles had to be seized. Many states have formed committees to bring in changes as per their needs.

On Tuesday, the Gujarat government decided to slash the fine amount by almost 90 percent due to outrage of the masses over the new fine amount under the amended MV Act.

Last week, the Punjab government announced that the amended MV Act will not be implemented there as the fine amount is too high. Transport minister of the Punjab government stated that collecting fine amounts is not the prime objective of their government.

In the amended MV Act, several new sections have been added. Also, many sections have been modified and fine amounts have been increased three-fold to the earlier fine amount.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 was passed in Parliament in July. It seeks to tighten road traffic regulations such as the issuance of driving licence and impose stricter penalties for violations in order to improve road safety.

Under the new law, which has come into effect in Delhi on Sunday, people not wearing helmets or seat-belts will be fined Rs 1,000 instead of Rs 100 earlier. Those driving without a licence will be fined Rs 5,000 or undergo a three-month jail term. People will be fined Rs 10,000 for drunken driving up from Rs 2,000 earlier.

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