In Delhi, cops to pay double-penalty for violating traffic laws
The new traffic laws, which levy heavy penalty on offenders, has turned out to be a double whammy for police personnel in Delhi. Cops in the national capital will have to pay double the penalty if they are found violating traffic rules, an official circular said. Apart from traffic and general police officers, this rule is also applicable to all government employees. Here's more.
Context: The new law is meant to make roads safer
After being passed in the Parliament, the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was implemented on Sunday, September 1. The Bill was moved by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to make Indian roads safer. As a result, breaking traffic rules became costlier for offenders. For example, a drunk driving offense started inviting a penalty of Rs. 10,000, unlike Rs. 2,000 earlier.
Traffic cops will pay more than general public in Delhi
Almost daily, the spike in penalty catapults one or the other commuter to headlines. But, the rules are also meant to keep cops in check. As per a circular of Joint Commissioner (traffic) Meenu Choudhary, "Any authority that is empowered to enforce the provision of this Act, if such authority commits an offense...shall be liable for twice the penalty corresponding to that offense."
Flouting traffic norms will prove costly to officials
This means that if an official is caught riding a motorbike without a helmet, he/she will be fined Rs. 2,000 as against the prescribed Rs. 1,000 for others. Similarly, for driving without a license, officials will be charged Rs. 10,000 as opposed to Rs. 5,000. This rule will be applicable when they are driving police/private vehicles.
DCPs were directed to brief and sensitize the staff
"All DCPs (deputy commissioners of police) districts/units are directed to brief and sensitize the staff working under their operational control accordingly to follow traffic rules and regulations in true letter and spirit whether they are riding/driving police vehicles or their own private vehicles," the order read.
In 2018, 250 police personnel broke traffic rules
To note, this provision was implemented to encourage agencies to "practise what they preach". And data suggests they haven't been doing that exactly. "In 2018, over 250 police personnel were caught for various traffic violations. This year too, the figure has reached above 100," an official told India Today. Separately, Delhi cops were ordered to wear cameras on their bodies to record traffic violations.
Yesterday, a truck driver was fine Rs. 59,000 for offenses
Meanwhile, the hefty penalties have given sleepless nights to offenders. On the very first day of the Act's implementation, Delhi police issued 3,900 challans. "On Monday, Delhi Traffic Police fined a vehicle owner Rs. 27,000 for violating traffic rules in the Mayapuri area," a senior police official said. On Wednesday, a truck driver was fined Rs. 59,000 by Gurugram police for multiple traffic offenses.