‘Heavy Fine Is Must To Discipline Errant Drivers’

Nitish, 41, is a technology professional in Delhi-NCR, says Indian roads are full of negligent, rash drivers who put lives of other law-abiding road users at risk. Heavy penalities are a must to keep them in check

I live in Indirapuram and travel to Noida for work every day. On an average I commute about 50 kms each day. I have to navigate through a sea of vehicles on the road and be on high-alert while driving. But no matter how careful you are, you cannot rule out chances of an accident. There are many negligent, rash drivers on the road who put the life of several law abiding drivers at risk. The amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act will hopefully keep such irresponsible people in check.  

The heavy penalties will act as a deterrent for the errant drivers, who do not respect other drivers or pedestrians. With these penalties, people will start taking traffic rules seriously. Earlier, the rich car owners would often be let off after shelling out ₹500. But now if the fine for an offence is ₹10, 000, then people would be careful. Penalising the parents of minors is also a welcome step. 

Under the new Act, the government has agreed to regulate the activities of taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola. Cab services have become as important for city-based population as is the telecommunication network. So if the telecom sector can have regulating bodies like Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the transport sector needs a regulatory body too. Cases of exorbitant surge-pricing, extra charge on rebooking after cancellation, random cancellation by drivers etc., and many such exploitative practices need to be kept in check by the government. 

The Centre can now formulate a broad guiding policy, while each state will have to figure out the nitty-gritties and the specific requirements and make the resultant policies on their own. The cab fare passenger safety would be directly under the government’s supervision. 

With the passing of this new Act, I hope that the roads become safer. Cases of road rage, rash driving are likely to go down. People will learn to drive more responsibly.

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