Temporary Relief For Odisha’s Motor Vehicle Owners

On August 2019, the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019 got the President’s assent, aiming to make Indian roads safer from the following month.

According to the Indian road transport and highways ministry, about half a million accidents are reported on a daily basis, out of which a staggering 150,000 people lose their lives — indicating that the 30-year-old law needed amendment.

Hence, in a move to curb traffic rule violations, the new law imposed hefty penalties and stiff action which meant any driving error may cost a fortune and may even land one in prison. Unfortunately, this did not sit well with many motorists. In Odisha alone, over Rs. 1 crore was collected in penalties within a few days of implementation from auto drivers, truck owners and private vehicle owners.

This led to growing tension amongst the public and resulted in a mob fury near Rajmahal square, Bhubaneswar that had to be resolved via lathi-charge. A move that forced Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to defer the implementation of the new traffic rules by 3 months, allowing sufficient time for vehicle owners to get their documentation in place.

The Chief Minister additionally asked the State Transport Minister to increase public services, expand counters for a swift process, conduct camps to spread awareness about the new law and strengthen the facilitation centres.

The state government also expressed that they will write to the Centre requesting for reduced penalties for traffic violators. BJD legislator and party spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb added that the letter will raise issues faced by the common people, asking for much-needed amendments.

Meanwhile, as the government does its bit to simplify the law, it’s advisable for all vehicle owners to complete their documentation work on time. Click Here for all information regarding the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019.

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