Bihar Police Finds Unique Way of Fining Traffic Violators; Offers Helmet, Insurance Instead of Challan


The amended Motor Vehicles Act which came into effect from September 1, 2019, is proving to be a pinch in the pockets of the offenders. Under the new MV Act, if a person is caught riding a two-wheeler without a helmet, he/she might be fined Rs 1,000 along with a three-month disqualification from driving license. The fine, however, took a new turn in Bihar’s Motihari town where the traffic police are letting off the offenders without imposing a hefty fine but are teaching them a lesson making sure their mistake is rectified. If two-wheeler riders in Motihari are caught without a helmet or lapsed insurance paper at police checkpoints, they are being directed to vendors who sell helmets and insurance policies nearby.

The innovative drive has been launched by Chhatauni police station SHO Mukesh Chandra Kunwar.

“I roped in some helmet sellers and insurance agents who have set up stalls beside the checking points. Riders are not being fined as that makes them feel like they are offenders. Instead, they are made to purchase good quality helmets and get their insurance renewed,” Mukesh Chandra Kunwar was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Mukesh Chandra Kunwar believes that the hefty fines under the MV Act fail to build people’s trust and makes them think of policemen as extortionists. “I drew inspiration from the town’s historical legacy and came up with the plan which could help us achieve the objective of the amended MV Act in a humane yet effective way,” Financial Express quoted Mukesh Chandra Kunwar as saying.

The SHO has also requested the District Transport Officer to depute an official who could issue learner’s license on the spot to offenders riding without it. However, Mukesh Chandra Kunwar said that all offences can’t be let off with goodwill gestures. If a person offends rules that are dangerous to other road users then the police won’t let him/her off easily.

“If a person is found driving rash or under the influence of alcohol — sale and consumption of which is banned in Bihar — then we are left with no option but to take action according to the law,” he said.

Cops in Bihar are not the first one to come up with a creative idea to deal with traffic offender, Kerala police distributed ladoos to traffic violators while Manipur police the offenders toffees.

Fines are harsh: Jharkhand hints at revising hefty traffic penalties ahead of elections


The Jharkhand government has dropped an indication to revise the fine provision in the new Motor Vehicles Act.

State Transport Minister CP Singh said that the traffic fines imposed were exorbitant. He said that the government was for the people and they felt that the fines were harsh.

The transport minister said that the government was serious about giving relief to the commuters who are facing the brunt of new act.

CP Singh assured the people to wait for two days after which PM Modi will be there and then a special session would be convened regarding the matter.

“I have felt the difficulties of people. The act was implemented abruptly and all of a sudden,” CP Singh said.

The govt has decided to relax the norms and fine provision in the new Motor Vehicles Act.

He said that the fines slapped under the head of registration, pollution and other offences would be reviewed. He also said that he had already talked to the chief minister about it.

When asked why all the states who were heading towards elections were in a haste to revise the traffic fines, CP Singh said, “We are concerned about people’s interest.”

It comes after Gujarat slashed the hefty fines by nearly 50 per cent after the implementation of the Motor Vehicles Act. Karnataka is likely to follow Gujarat in reducing traffic fines.

Speculations are rife that the government is scared that such hefty fine could cost them during the elections which are round the corner. Jharkhand is scheduled to go for elections towards the end of the year.

Earlier, CP Singh was fined for violating the traffic movement tracking system he had introduced once. The minister was on his way on June 23 when his car was caught jumping a signal at the Sarjana Chowk in Ranchi by the red light violation detection system (RLVD). The minister had to shell out Rs 100 as penalty.

Fine-drive effect: Fear & loathing in Ranchi


Friday was almost unreal in the capital city. Almost all thoroughfares bore a deserted look. Even auto-rickshaw drivers, who are notorious for overloading, wrong-side driving, picking and dropping passengers at will from the middle of the road, were driving cautiously. Many autos stayed away from the road.

Traffic policemen attributed it to the fear the new Motor Vehicles Act, which has radically hiked fines for offences, has struck in the hearts of motorists. The decision of the Ranchi traffic police department to recommend suspension of licence of offenders for a period of three months has aggravated the fears, they said.

“Right from the morning traffic remained quite smooth,” said a traffic constable at Ratu Chowk. “Even during the peak hours of 9am to 11am when people rush to offices, there was less traffic than usual. That means people who don’t have proper documents of their vehicle are scared of venturing out on the road.

“Though the new Motor Vehicles Act is harsh in terms of fine and punishment, it has some positive impact,” he added. “Now the new rule fixes liability on parents with three years of jail and Rs 25,000 fine if their juvenile son or daughter is caught driving.”

The traffic policemen continued the enforcement drive through the day.

On Thursday, state transport commissioner Praveen Toppo issued a directive to the traffic police department saying that if anyone empowered to enforce provisions of the new law is found committing an offence under the same law, that person will be liable to for twice the penalty mandated for that offence under the new law.

Acting upon that order, Ranchi traffic superintendent of police Ajit Peter Dungdung slapped Rs 34,000 fine on traffic constable Rakesh Kumar on Harmu road on Friday morning.

“He was driving the bike and an ASI (assistant sub-inspector)-rank official was the pillion rider,” SP Dungdung said on Friday. “We can’t just ignore that he is from traffic department and was on duty.

“We can’t preach people to follow traffic rules and fine them when our own staff are not following the rules,” he added. “Though he was wearing helmet but pillion rider was without helmet hence he was imposed a fine of Rs 2,000. Then I started checking every paper of his bike. He was not carrying driving licence, the bike was without pollution-under-control certificate and it was not insured.”

The SP insisted that there would be no leniency in taking strong action against government vehicles and public servants.

A state government employee, who works at Project Building, said that for the past four days he has not been using his two-wheeler to go to office.

“The pollution certificate and insurance of my bike expired around two years ago. I did not get time for renewal, and honestly speaking I just ignored it because police never checked for these documents except helmet, driving licence and registration papers,” he said. “Today (Friday) I got the insurance policy paper but getting the pollution-under-control certificate is a challenging job because I will have to take my bike to the testing centre and there is no guarantee that I will not be caught on the way there.”

Awdhesh Kumar, an auto-rickshaw driver, said he had kept his vehicle off the road for the last three days as its pollution-under-control certificate had lapsed a month back.

“Early morning tomorrow (Saturday) I will visit the pollution testing centre to get the certificate,” he said. “It is safe early morning because traffic cops generally join duty around 9am. I can’t risk driving and paying the fine. I have already borrowed money to buy the auto-rickshaw. I also carry some children to school. I have stopped it till I have proper documents,” he said.

“Auto drivers fear that they will have to pay huge penalty for minor faults,” he added. “They also park randomly, pick up and drop passengers anywhere on the road. I will request the traffic department to properly train them about the law,” he added.

Even Ranchi Municipal Corporation is fed up with dug-up spots


Traffic snarls and people falling into dug-up stretches of roads — welcome to monsoon in the state capital.

The situation has become so bad that senior officials of Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) are set to meet Ramchandra Sahis, the minister of drinking water and sanitation, to lodge complaints about the number of trenches dug by the department across the capital for repairing water pipelines and giving domestic water connections.

“In the last one-and-half months we have received over two dozen complaints from residents that trenches were dug on the road and on the flanks many months back by the department that are yet to be filled up,” deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya said on Monday.

“This causes multiple problems like disruption in traffic and people falling in the trenches. The RMC has to face public criticism irrespective of the fact that the drinking water and sanitation department is responsible for this. The RMC is not responsible if the drinking water department does not have sufficient funds or if officials have no control over contractors. Now we have decided to meet minister of the department to seek his intervention.”

Vijayvargiya, a resident of Kokar, said that on Kokar Chowk the road was dug up three months back. The department has finally covered the trenches with cement slabs. “But debris is yet to be removed and proper levelling work has still not been done. You can see a similar situation on the Kantatoli stretch. Due to such unplanned work, traffic remains affected and people face problems,” he said.

Rakesh Raman, a resident of Bandhgadi, complained that stretch was dug in one of the lanes of his locality a month ago.

“This lane is narrow and has no streetlight, hence people frequently fall in it. I had lodged a complaint with the RMC but there has been no solution so far,” said Raman.

Morabadi resident Vimal Krishnan said contractors executing the works leave the dug-up portions unattended. “As per the rule such stretches must be barricaded with reflective danger sign till the work is finished. But in Ranchi such procedures are not followed. There is risk of accident especially at night for those who are not aware,” Krishnan said.

Hiralal Prasad, chief engineer of the drinking water and sanitation department, admitted that such complaints have come from various parts of the capital.

“These trenches were dug up mainly for repair and to give domestic connections. But they must be filled up after the work is done. During periodical review meetings contractors were asked to properly fill the dug-up stretches with soil. We are going to issue a final warning to all contractors after which departmental action will be taken against them,” Prasad said when contacted.