Drunken driving, jumping red light, overspeeding and use of mobile phones behind the wheels among other traffic offences will henceforth attract higher fine and jail term under new rules approved by the Union Cabinet today.
The increase in penalties is up to five times for the traffic violations under the proposed amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act likely to be introduced in the forthcoming Budget session of Parliament.
In a bid to tighten the noose around habitual traffic offenders, the Cabinet cleared the manifold increase in penalties by approving the changes to be incorporated in the amendment, which also envisages substantial hike in compensation to accident victims.
Dangerous driving, non-use of seat belts as well as driving without helmets for two-wheelers will also attract higher punishment.
“The Union Cabinet has approved the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act for harsher punishments for offences like drunken driving and violation of traffic rules and also increased compensation in accident cases," an official said.
He said the amendments are proposed mainly to deal with offenders who violate traffic rules repeatedly.
"The amendment will act as a deterrent," Delhi Police’s Joint Commissioner (Traffic) Satyendra Garg said.
In case of drunken driving, the increased fine will range from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 and imprisonment from six months to four years.
Besides increasing the fine for using mobile phones while driving to Rs 500 for first offence and Rs 2,000-5,000 for subsequent instances, it is also proposed to provide clear definition of such instruments.
"Mobile phone is any application which can receive and transmit voice, text and picture…," as per the proposal.
It means that not only talking on phone but sending text messages and using hands free instruments for using mobile phone would be considered an offence.
Under one of the proposed amendments, the government has cleared four-fold increase in compensation to Rs 1 lakh in fatal accidents, and Rs 50,000 for grievous hurt in hit and run cases.
In case of drunken driving, the increased fine will range from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 and imprisonment from six months to four years.(PTI)