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Old 25th August 2014, 07:34   #1
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Thumbs up August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

After the propsed increase in speed limit of vehicles (link (Govt all set to revise speed limits for all vehicles. EDIT: Done)), the Govt has taken a welcome move in increasing the fines and adding a new feature called Penalty Points.

Although this is in proposal state, we would very much like to see it implemented, isn't it ? Fear of law and monetary loss can invoke some senses in traffic offenders.

Read more HERE

Quoting a short excerpt:
Quote:
Once a driver accumulates 12 negative points, his/her licence would be suspended for a year.
If a driver whose licence has been suspended still commits offences and accumulates another 12 points, the licence would be cancelled for five years. Violation of traffic signals, triple driving on motor cycle, drunk driving, using vehicles without registration or in unsafe condition may attract 3 negative points in each case.
August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders-penalty.jpg
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Old 25th August 2014, 08:14   #2
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
After the propsed increase in speed limit of vehicles (link (Govt all set to revise speed limits for all vehicles. EDIT: Done)), the Govt has taken a welcome move in increasing the fines and adding a new feature called Penalty Points.
Awesome move I would say. Considering the points covered, specially the drunken driving case, it is the need of the hour.

I also liked the point of Obstructing the free flow of traffic, Rs 1000/hr.

Very nicely thought.
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Old 25th August 2014, 09:02   #3
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

This is a step in the right direction. But mere enactment of laws provisioning stiffer fines is not enough. They are not enough of a deterrent.
Zero tolerance enforcement is the need of the hour - not random police checks to check against specific offenses.
For instance, the police in my neighborhood , lie in wait of offending motorists who jump a "no left turn on red" stop light. But so focused are they in watching out for these offenders, they fail to notice others, who cross lanes without signalling.
So what's needed is the increased need for trained policemen who know the law, and can recognize offenses when committed.
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Old 25th August 2014, 09:13   #4
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

Unless the Govt first gives every traffic policeman the authority to fine on-the-spot & issue a receipt, all these measures are useless.

Plus there need to be squads who check the traffic policemen regularly to see if they are taking bribes.

Else, most people try to avoid having to go to court by bribing the traffic policeman who are only too keen to take it too.

Without basic execution reform, this will only serve to increase the size of the bribe being given/taken.

Last edited by gsurya : 25th August 2014 at 09:14.
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Old 25th August 2014, 09:25   #5
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

While at the face of it, this looks like a step in the right direction, more often than not, implementation of these laws is the weak link and this, kind of makes a mockery of law. Simply step out on a busy road and see how many vehicles are parked right under a no parking sign board and you will know what I mean.

Unless there is a good mechanism which will ensure that this is uniformly enforced on the law breakers irrespective of who they are or who their fathers/uncles/friends are , this will just turn out to be another way of harassing law abiding denizens. The police will demand larger bribes and fill their pockets , yes, the larger bribes will in itself therefore acts as a deterrent, but it will this make our roads safer, will this law in itself reduce fatalities on the road ? Well let us see if Modi Sarkar has a way to make this work...
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Old 25th August 2014, 09:35   #6
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

I see lots of pos and cons of this change in law:

Pros:
- Fear of having to pay huge amount of fine.
- Fear of having to pay huge amount of bribe.
- If at all 25-30% of people are scared, rest will follow.
- Example: I don't ride on the footpath, because cops will catch and fine me, the people behind me will also follow the same. Something better.

Cons:
- Bribery amount will go up. For a Rs.300 fine, bribery is Rs.100. For a Rs5000 fine, bribery will be atleast Rs.500.
- Cops will make a killing. Pro of it is, cops now will be more dutiful atleast in catching offenders. (Let them fine/bribe, atleast the offender is hurt).
- By the time, the law is actually enforced, it will be time for election again.
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Old 25th August 2014, 09:59   #7
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

OK, so the traffic cops should now be part of the revenue department I guess.

We got infrastructure that is comparable with third world countries and we try to enforce rules and laws borrowed from the US and Western Europe. Have top class infrastructure first and *then* make laws, not the other way round.

Anyways, none of this will work given that the implementation is finally left to the states.
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Old 25th August 2014, 10:10   #8
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Red face re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

This is a bold move but I guess half thought. As said on the thread, this is going to spark corruption. The people who think of this implementation wouldnt be able to control their own people from misusing the rules.

This combined with CCTV netwrok would actually add teeth to the campaign. This will prevent the cops from doing those hushed up business. Any traffic violations caught on the camera should sent the fine notice to the violator (if the addresss is genuine) and the fine payment can be done online.

The penalty points idea is good and this will bring the much needed traffic sense in the drivers.
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Old 25th August 2014, 10:34   #9
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

Another point - with stiffer fines, and mix that with the known corruption in the police department - what will happen is that the bribes are going to increase.
Earlier, the cop would take a bribe for Rs 100/- for common infractions (such as jumping a stop light) - now there will be more incentive to take a bribe of Rs 1000/- because the fine is at least Rs 5000/-
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Old 25th August 2014, 10:40   #10
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

Quote:
Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
Another point - with stiffer fines, and mix that with the known corruption in the police department - what will happen is that the bribes are going to increase.
Earlier, the cop would take a bribe for Rs 100/- for common infractions (such as jumping a stop light) - now there will be more incentive to take a bribe of Rs 1000/- because the fine is at least Rs 5000/-
True, but this is a risk the government has to take. There is no point keeping the rates lower to avoid corruption. One way to overcomes the issue of bribes is to enforce strict monitoring and targets on the policemen, but India being India, they will find out ways to overcome that and indulge in corruption.

Anyways, I will accept it as a move in the right direction.
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Old 25th August 2014, 11:02   #11
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

@Govt: Please up haul the traffic police first. Let them pull up their socks and perform their duties without expectation of cuts/bribes and bowing down to threats.

All the other things like fined etc are nothing but minutiae.
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Old 25th August 2014, 11:03   #12
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
True, but this is a risk the government has to take. There is no point keeping the rates lower to avoid corruption.
Actually, I also don't think the way to reduce the amount of bribes is to keep rate of fine low.
Nope - and this is a bit OT.
I feel the way to better road experience for everyone has to be based on:
1) Better infrastructure - roads, parking etc.
2) Fines that cause grievous financial hurt in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
3) DL Penalty points that continue to cause long term financial hemorrhage to the offender's insurance premium - BY LAW. This is something IRDA needs to work on with the traffic department.
4) I can't believe that traffic cops are not well paid - hence their predilection to accept bribes. Quite the contrary, the predilection to accept bribes is because it's easy money. So, make it difficult for them to accept bribes.

On the point 4- let's see how the citizenry of the US/UK etc feel about offering bribes in case of common traffic infarction? 9 times out of 10 they will be afraid to do so. Similarly the cops also, are afraid to ask. Why? Because there exist systems to prevent corruption and these work.

As someone who has encountered being pulled over by the cops in the US and India both - here are the extra things that happen:

1) Cops ask for papers in both countries. But in the US, they actually go ahead and enter these details as well as the offense on their laptop - which by the way is connected to their nationwide database. This makes for greater transparency in the transaction.
2) The system of performance measurement in for cops in the US, is actually based on number of offenses where the fine was paid with no contest. And the rewards are a very good incentive to keep the cops on the straight path.
3) Training. This is one of the critical differentiators. They get continuous education not only of the law but also the way to deal with offenders. Correspondingly Cops in India hardly ever go back to training - so short are they of manpower - that training is the first casualty once they are assigned.
4) Provisions of the Law. Most Cops in US know the law well, and are able to charge the offense under the right section(s) (and electronically recorded). Once charged, the offender cannot compound the fine on the spot. He needs to send in the payment in a prescribed format to the specific court where the case is filed, or he needs to go to court and fight the case. The fact that the fine can be compounded only in the courts, as opposed to on the spot, is yet another deterrent against corruption - because both parties know, and everyone around also knows, that no money need be exchanged on the spot. So if anyone spots money being exchanged - and informs vigilance - then it's curtains for both the offender and the cop.
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Old 25th August 2014, 11:10   #13
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
This combined with CCTV netwrok would actually add teeth to the campaign. This will prevent the cops from doing those hushed up business. Any traffic violations caught on the camera should sent the fine notice to the violator (if the addresss is genuine) and the fine payment can be done online.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
Another point - with stiffer fines, and mix that with the known corruption in the police department - what will happen is that the bribes are going to increase.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
There is no point keeping the rates lower to avoid corruption. One way to overcomes the issue of bribes is to enforce strict monitoring and targets on the policemen..
Though a step in the right direction, I concur with all of your fears. Corruption is something that needs to be weeded out. If the primary objective of this move is to instill fear of law in people, and not revenue generation, I would suggest give 60-70% of the challan amount to the officer.

A simple red light jumping challan now costs what, 100 bucks? In this new scheme, it costs 5000. Say, govt takes 2500 and gives the rest to the cop on duty - a whopping 2500. Govt still earns 25 times more and the cop has an incentive too to catch the offenders! Tweak this percentage till it becomes financially unviable for the people to give bribes. Maybe structure the salaries of traffic cops in such a way - have this as a variable component or something.

And please do away with the immunity for govt. vehicles. Make the drivers responsible for traffic offences and make sure they pay these out of their pocket.
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Old 25th August 2014, 11:15   #14
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Red face re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

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Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Say, govt takes 2500 and gives the rest to the cop on duty - a whopping 2500. Govt still earns 25 times more and the cop has an incentive too to catch the offenders! Maybe structure the salaries of traffic cops in such a way - have this as a variable component or something.
Novel idea. But this shouldnt be the reason the cops start stopping every other vehicle on the pretext of violating traffic. This will lose steam and bring a bad face to even the good cops.

There's no way the traffic violator will carry that kind of cash. Taking the vehicle as deposit will add to traffic chaos of parking. Stalemate of the situation will allow other offenders to get away while the cops deal with one person.
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Old 25th August 2014, 11:30   #15
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Default re: August 2014 Proposal: Stiffer fines, Penalty points for Traffic Offenders

On the whole, a step in the right direction I feel.

However, the amount of fines will mean we will be putting financially weak people behind bars at a way higher rate than ever before. The deep pockets will just pay the fine and continue on. The social impact of this proposal needs to be studied before implementing it.

Maybe some sort of part time community service to pay off the fine will be preferable before throwing people behind bars.

I know it will be really difficult to apply here, but I find the fining system in some Scandinavian inherently fair where the fine amount is decided according to your tax bracket.
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