It is heartening to see people around India (I can speak of the state I live in – Goa) suddenly strapped up & helmet-ed on the roads.
So then, people in India DO understand the value of what it means to be safe, of course only when it starts to pinch the pocket.
With the sudden rise in penalties for traffic violations, people have suddenly taken a u-turn to ‘safety’ on the roads.
This is the listing of what the fines look now
|Section||Old Provision / Penalty||New Proposed Provision / Minimum Penalties|
|177||General||Rs 100||Rs 500|
|New 177A||Rules of road regulation violation||Rs 100||Rs 500|
|178||Travel without ticket||RS 200||Rs 500|
|179||Disobedience of orders of authorities||Rs 500||Rs 2000|
|180||Unauthorized use of vehicles without licence||Rs 1000||Rs 5000|
|181||Driving without licence||Rs 500||Rs 5000|
|182||Driving despite disqualification||Rs 500||Rs 10,000|
|182 B||Oversize vehicles||New||Rs 5000|
|183||Over speeding||Rs 400||Rs 1000 for LMV
Rs 2000 for Medium passenger vehicle
|184||Dangerous driving penalty||Rs 1000||Upto Rs 5000|
|185||Drunken driving||Rs 2000||Rs 10,000|
|189||Speeding / Racing||Rs 500||Rs 5,000|
|192 A||Vehicle without permit||upto Rs 5000||Upto Rs 10,000|
|193||Aggregators (violations of licencing conditions)||New||Rs 25,000 to
|194||Overloading||Rs 2000 and
Rs 1000 per extra tonne
|Rs 20,000 and
Rs 2000 per extra tonne
|194 A||Overloading of passengers||Rs 1000 per extra passenger|
|194 B||Seat belt||Rs 100||Rs 1000|
|194 C||Overloading of two wheelers||Rs 100||Rs 2000, Disqualification for 3 months for licence|
|194 D||Helmets||Rs 100||Rs 1000 Disqualification for 3 months for licence|
|194 E||Not providing way for emergency vehicles||New||Rs 10,000|
|196||Driving Without Insurance||RS 1000||Rs 2000|
|199||Offences by Juveniles||New||Guardian / owner shall be deemed to be guilty. Rs 25,000 with 3 yrs imprisonment. For Juvenile to be tried under JJ Act. Registration of Motor Vehicle to be cancelled|
|206||Power of Officers to impound documents||Suspension of driving licenses u/s 183, 184, 185, 189, 190, 194C, 194D, 194E|
|210 B||Offences committed by enforcing authorities||Twice the penalty under the relevant section|
I can’t say how happy this makes me. It might still not be enough to put it across to some stubborn Indians – however that said, knowing Indians and how well we do to manipulate laws and find ways around them.. they’ll be something out there soon.
Don’t people know that a strapping on your seat-belt or wearing a helmet, will only do good and maybe.. just maybe save your life? But NO, I guess its a very normal thing, when a rule is enforced – breaking it gives us more pleasure.
Could it be that there a reasoning behind the way people behave the way they do? The avoidance of not wanting to be protected? Let’s see some of the craziest reasons people come up with:
Not wearing a HELMET
1. It messes up the hair. Sure it does, flattens out the hair too.. but considering half of India’s male population is balding – does it really make a difference? Besides a bald head is better than an injured/one right? I mean just imagine – a bald man and you could be India’s answer to Pitbull, throw classy sunglasses on and you’re PITBULL – that isn’t so bad is it? If John Travolta was inspired by Pitbull.. what stops you?
2. It gets hot between the ears on summer days. Like seriously! That’s an excuse? Next pls!
3. I want to feel the air touch my soul. That’s got to be the lamest excuse! Dramatic yes.. but sorry, not a good enough excuse! You aren’t a John Abraham in the original Dhoom for your hair to fly in the air, (the average length of male hair on one’s head does not permit for such stunts) Even girls tie up their hair while riding, so guys wanting to feel the wind on their face and body and hair is… whatever!
4. No communication with the pillion during the ride. Ride gets lonely. Do I even need to explain this? Stop the bike at the side of the road if you need to communicate something to the pillion rider.
Not wearing a SEAT-BELT
1. The crumpled outfit: Girls more than guys on this one… but then yes – Guys are no less. How would it feel to see yourself on a hospital bed with multiple injuries, the well ironed hospital garment does not matter any more – does it?
2. Short distances, What can happen attitude?: It takes two to have an accident and remember you and a few more hundred drivers are driving on probably the same street/road. A moment of madness and its all over! You could be the best driver around, but one cannot judge the temperament of another driver – and all it takes is a couple of seconds (especially if you’ve other people in the vehicle with you)
3. Slow moving traffic? The seat-belts making you hotter in the chest area? – keep it strapped on buddy! It ain’t gonna make a different, un-strapping it will make you vulnerable to any kind of hit at a sharp turn or at a crossroad.
So, while these new fines have already made their way into people’s lives…Goa is yet to implement them – come Jan 2020, the reason being the state of roads all over Goa. That said, one can find policemen all over, old fines or new… break the law and you will penalized!
I will have to say, besides national highways where I’d strap on my seat-belt, I never did when it came to local town and village roads. Now of course, among the first 5 things I do before I press the accelerator
- Ignite the engine
- Make the sign of the cross
- Strap up the seat-belt
- ….go vroom vroom!
…and I’m ready to take on the roads.