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Stringent traffic rules aim at curbing road accidents, says Nitin Gadkari

Stringent traffic rules aim at curbing road accidents, says Nitin Gadkari

New Delhi: Intelligent traffic system does not discriminate between violators of law whether it is a central minister, chief minister, bureaucrat or a journalist, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Sunday while asserting hefty fines for traffic rule violations are aimed at curbing road accidents.

He also stressed that there should be no fear of hefty "challans" if someone is abiding by the law.

Post imposition of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, from September 1, hefty challans for traffic rules violations by the police have hit the headlines.

"Why is this fear of challans if one is following traffic rules. People should rather be happy that India's roads will become safer like abroad where people strictly abide by traffic norms. Is human life not precious," Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told PTI in an interview.

Gadkari said stringent rules were "much needed" as people had taken traffic laws very lightly and there was neither fear nor respect for law.

"I am sensitive to this issue. Ask the family members who have lost someone near and dear in road accidents. 65 per cent of the road accidents victims are in the age bracket of 18 to 35 years, ask their families how they feel. I too am an accident victim and it is a well-thought-of step with consent from almost all political parties whether Congress, Trinamool or TRS," he said. He said there are people who have not even been once fined as they follow traffic norms asking why others cannot emulate them.

Asked there have been multiple instances of hefty penalties where challans issued surpassed the cost of the vehicle, the minister said they were slapped multiple fines on account of multiple offences and instances had come to his notice where offenders lacked licence, pollution clearance, insurance etc.

"Intelligent traffic system does not discriminate. If you violate the law, you will have to pay penalty whether you are central minister, Chief Minister, bureaucrat or a journalist. There have been instances in my knowledge where CMs and others have been slapped with challans."

He appealed to the people to use the digital platforms like DigiLocker or mParivahan to carry Driving Licence, Registration Certificate or other documents in 'electronic form' which are valid under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and present them to traffic police if asked.

These electronic records available on DigiLocker or mParivahan are deemed to be legally recognised at par with the original documents as per the provisions of the Information Technology Act and the Motor Vehicles Act. As per the Motor Act, the owner/driver has to produce the documents -- licence or certificate of registration etc to the authority on demand.

About states, he said that all the states are on board and have started implementing the new provisions and Tamil Nadu could play a role model as implementation has resulted in 28 per cent drop in accidents in the state. PTI

Namita Tewari

Namita Tewari

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