By Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan
New Delhi, Nov 22 | Traffic rules are made to ensure safety of commuters, but most people do not care to read them in detail and end up paying fines. Not only this, the fines imposed for violation of those rules defy all logic. IANS took a closer look on the traffic rule book to understand why most people are either unaware of them or have misconceptions.
For example, if a driver drives a commercial vehicle without putting on the badge, he will be fined Rs 10,000, whereas using a mobile phone while driving attracts a penalty of just Rs 500 to Rs 1,500.
A retired police commissioner (traffic), Bhairon Singh Gurjar, told IANS, “the logic behind a hefty fine for driving without a badge for commercial driver is to distinguish him from other drivers.”
Interestingly, Gurjar was one of the members of the committee which framed the rules for traffic violations.
Delhi High Court in a case related to traffic offences, had ordered to remove tinted glasses from all four wheelers as there were apprehensions that anti-social elements might misuse it to hide their identities. Within months, tinted glasses were removed from all the cars, even vehicles of senior police officials were not spared. But penalty for violation of this rule is just a fine of Rs 500 to Rs 1,500.
Contrast this with a fine of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 for using pressure horn while driving a vehicle on the road.
Consider this. If you are driving your vehicle without pollution control certificate, it will attract a fine of Rs 10,000, but if your vehicle exhumes smoke beyond permissible limit, you will be fined only Rs 500.
At a traffic signal, the fine for violation of red light is Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000, compounding each time, but the fine for the same violation in non-compounding category is Rs Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000.
Driving a vehicle without silencer will attract a fine of just Rs 500 to Rs 1,500, for noise pollution, considered serious in big cities.
Use of high beam headlights at night will attract just Rs 500 as fine, but according to reports, this is the main cause of road accidents and is considered very dangerous. Whereas driving a vehicle at night and without headlights will attract just Rs 5 to Rs 15, a cruel joke.
Smoking inside a car is a violation of traffic law. If somebody is found guilty of smoking inside a car, he/she will have to pay a fine of just Rs 500. This is not only dangerous for the smoker but also for other people either sitting in car or outside.
Gurjar said, “The traffic rules are subject to change from time to time. They are not permanent, not cast in stone, there is always scope for improvement.”
(Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)