New Delhi, September 11
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday defended the recent hike in traffic fines and described it as a deterrent which would promote road safety and avert accidents.
According to the Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, the higher fines are meant to save lives rather than augment revenue.
Gadkari said the states could decide to lower the fines imposed in their jurisdiction.
He added that the fines had been increased after 30 years.
Activists of the Congress' youth wing staged a demonstration near the residence of Union Road Transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday against the "steep" hike in penalty under the amended Motor Vehicle Act.
Indian Youth Congress (IYC) president Srinivas BV said they tried to gift two old motorcycles and scooters to Gadkari to make him realise how people were being forced to pay the fine that are higher than the value of their old vehicles.
The protesters trying to head towards Gadkari's residence at Moti Lal Nehru Road here, but were stopped at a police barricade.
Not able to gift the two-wheelers to the Union minister, the IYC protesters handed over the vehicles to Delhi Police personnel.
"We asked them to give it to the minister," IYC media in-charge Amrish Ranjan Pandey said.
Srinivas termed the hike in fines under the amended Act an "unrealistic move" that, he alleged, came without any preparation.
"This move is like the demonetisation that was forced on people. There was no preparation and it was imposed on people without any awareness about it," he said, adding the fine amount should be reduced.
About the amended Act stating that the owner or driver of a vehicle has to produce documents— licence or certificate of registration, etc—to the authority on demand, Pandey said that the details of vehicle owners are available on police website which can be accessed by using the registration number of any vehicle.
But police should ensure that details of an individual do not land in the hands of "unscrupulous" persons, he said. PTI