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Violate traffic in Delhi only if you want to spend a night in jail
Increasing fines for traffic violations is a welcome step but strong steps, involving permanent cancellation of driving license and jail terms besides stringent imprisonment should be explored to curb the menace of drunken driving, over-speeding, jumping red-lights and other traffic violations.

THE CABINET seems to have finally woken up to the menace of drunk driving and other cases of traffic violations – a meeting on March 1 has approved amendments to the Motor vehicle Act, increasing fines for traffic rules violations. A good beginning but even this seems too little and too late.

According to IBN, the amendments will deal with the traffic offences seriously, as harsher punishments have been approved for drunken driving and violations of traffic rules. But is this enough to curb the menace that has been registering a massive upheaval with the increase in the number of vehicles?

According to the article, the offenders would be asked to shell out Rs 5000 for drunken driving and for repeated offences; they could even land up in jail. One would have argued that minimum sentence should be a jail sentence, even at the first instance. If they are looking for deterrents, this would be an ideal deterrent, provided the ‘thieving cops’ at the signals decide to deal with the matter honestly than filling their own pockets.

Let us also take a look at other amendments: “Found using the mobile phone while driving, you could face a penalty up to Rs 5000 and choosing not to wear seat belt will attract penalty up to Rs 1500,” according to IBN. Driving a vehicle without registration will lead to a fine of Rs 20, 000 and/ or a year in prison and founding riding a motorcycle without helmet, you would have to pay a fine of Rs 1500.

The main purpose behind the harsher punishments is to introduce deterrents and to make sure that laws are respected. In that regard one would argue that license should be suspended for six months for a traffic violation, be it over speeding or jumping the signals. In case of three violations, cancel the license for three years and in case a person turns out to be a habitual traffic violator, his license should be cancelled forever.

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