‘Better roads reduce accidents, not fines’

The resentment of people, soon after a notification was issued hiking the compounding fee for traffic violations, was evident on social media platforms.

Refusing to buy the theory of the government that the high compounding fee was meant to check traffic violations and thereby reduce accidents, netizens wonder as to how accidents can be reduced, when the roads are full of potholes, improperly designed and there are hardly any parking places. They are demanding improvement of roads and provision of better road infrastructure before revision of the compounding fee.

On the other hand, the pandemic situation is coming in the way of implementation of rules for certain violations. The renewal of licences and registration has been deferred and those whose licence or vehicle registration has expired after March, can get it renewed till the end of this year.

“We have just started implementing the revised orders and it will take some more time to come out with the statistics,” says Deputy Transport Commissioner G.C. Raja Ratnam.

Auto drivers hit

“The traffic police are taking photographs with their mobile phones for wrong parking and overloading and sending e-challans. We cannot even meet the diesel cost, if we allow only three passengers as per the rule. There are no parking places, and if we stop beside the road, we are being made to shell out a lot of money as fines,” bemoans an autorickshaw driver.

“The revision of compounding fee for traffic violations is like a ‘noose’ around the neck of auto drivers, who are already overburdened by the steep hike in diesel price and motor vehicle insurance apart from the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic situation,” says G. Vamana Murthy, State general secretary of AP Auto and Motor Workers Union, an affiliate of AITUC.

“The traffic police are levying fines for wrong parking but the authorities have no answer, when we ask them about provision of parking places. We demand provision of parking lots, improvement of roads, reduction of the hike in compounding fee, collection of fines in offline mode also and concessions to self-employed groups like auto drivers,” he says.

The union will organise a State-wide strike to demand withdrawal of the amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act on Nov 26.


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