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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: With the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 coming into force from today, people in several cities of the State had to shell out heftier fines for violating traffic rules.

Not only Rs 100 or 500 but motorists had to pay penalties of at least Rs 1000 for traffic violations like driving without helmet/seat belt, driving license, vehicles without number plate, driving while talking on phone, overriding and jumping red light.

In Bhubaneswar, not only bikes or cars, even the Mo Bus staff had to pay fines for jumping zebra crossings.  Apart from the capital city, the new rules were strictly implemented in other major cities of the State like Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Puri.

“I knew about the new rules but did not expect that it would be implemented so stringently and consequently I had to pay more fines,” said a local resident of Bhubaneswar.

It may be noted that from today onwards traffic rule violations may attract fines as high as 10 times the earlier stipulated penalties. Some of the violations will even land people behind bars.

Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy has asked the DGP BK Sharma to ensure collection of enhanced fines as per the amended act and shift the present mode of manual collection of penalties to e-challan system as soon as possible.

The Transport department will provide 500 machines for e-challans in the first instance and integrate them with VAHAN and SARATHI application in order to streamline the collection of fines online.

Odisha Police has been asked to intensify patrolling in five selected stretches of the highways and the State government has already provided Rs 10 crore from the State Road Safety Fund for the purpose.

This apart, in order to deal with cases of drunken driving which is one of the biggest causes of road mishaps, police have been asked to arrest such people under Section 202 and 203 of MV Act.

It may be noted that under the new act, the government is implementing 63 different clauses with updated fines for cases of drunken driving, over speeding and overloading among others.

Additional Traffic DCP Amaresh Panda informed that children below 12 years of age will not be treated as second person pillion rider on a bike but ones with age above 4 years of age will have to compulsorily wear safety helmets.

"If we witness that someone is helping another on humanitarian grounds, we may allow him with relaxation but in other cases, the rules will be strictly implemented," said Panda.

Under the new act, obtaining a Driving License (DL) will become tougher as clearance test will become more tech-driven. Apart from reduction in validity of the DL to 10 years from 20 years, other new amendments like reimbursement of complete vehicle cost to buyers in case of defected models will also become effective under the new law.

Here’s the comprehensive list of various violations and comparison of their old and revised penalty charges.

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