Assam Ends Fines for Minor Traffic Offences on Two and Three-Wheelers

News Reporter News Reporter
Friday, June 28, 2024
Assam Ends Fines for Minor Traffic Offences on Two and Three-Wheelers
Minor Offences Forgiven, Major Offences Still Penalized
In a significant move, the Assam cabinet announced on Thursday that minor traffic rule violations by two and three-wheelers will no longer incur fines. However, serious offences, such as not wearing helmets, will continue to be penalized with fines and appropriate legal action.

Key Decisions from the Cabinet Meeting

The decisions, announced by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma following a cabinet meeting in Nalbari, include a two-part directive. Firstly, the cabinet decided that except for helmet violations, other minor infractions such as expired pollution certificates or lapsed vehicle insurance will not attract fines.

Secondly, for three-wheelers like autorickshaws and e-rickshaws, up to four repeated offences will be overlooked. Only on the fifth instance of a rule violation will fines be imposed and actions taken as per legal provisions.

Addressing Concerns Over Harassment

Chief Minister Sarma addressed media concerns about traffic police harassment of autorickshaw drivers, bike-taxi riders, food delivery agents, and students. He emphasized that the new policy aims to alleviate the financial burden on low-income individuals. 

"Two-wheeler riders will not be fined for violations other than not wearing helmets. For minor offences, riders will receive a notice to obtain the required documents but will not be fined," Sarma stated. He also clarified that three-wheelers would face penalties only after the fifth violation.

Implementation and Scope

The transport department will draft a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and release it within 15 days to ensure smooth implementation of the new rules. Sarma pointed out that the state had only collected six to seven crore in fines over the last two to three years, justifying the decision to reduce undue harassment for minor amounts.

However, Sarma emphasized that major offences and applicable legal measures will still be enforced. The new leniency rules apply only to two and three-wheelers, while cars (four-wheelers) will continue to be fined for all traffic rule violations.

Focus on Safety and Compliance

When asked about drunk driving, Sarma confirmed that such cases would still be penalized. For other minor violations, a warning will be issued before taking further legal action, such as license cancellation.

Sarma concluded by highlighting the positive impact of strict helmet laws on reducing accidents in Assam. "Accidents are decreasing, and parents are grateful. We will not compromise on fines for not wearing helmets as it is a matter of public safety," he said.