While the entire country (or most of it) is abiding by the regulations and fines set forth in the updated Motor Vehicles Act, Goa has been enjoying relief for the last four months. Of course, this stay on the implementation of the amended act was proposed given the abhorrent state of the roads in Goa. Be it the ongoing construction of flyovers on the main highways, or the incessant rains that lashed the state for almost five months causing major destruction to major and minor roads alike, the fact of the matter is that the people of Goa were not willing to pay heavy fines for travel on sub-par infrastructure. And the CM, Pramod Sawant agreed. He also went as far as to say that the new amendment will not be enforced in Goa till all the roads are fixed and pothole-free. Now with the announcement that the new Motor Vehicles Act will be enforced from January 2020, it’s safe to assume that all the roads across Goa will be fixed in the next two months. Right?
Following the Gujarat model
While addressing the media at the Secretariat on Monday, Mauvin Godhino, Transport Minister reminded all those present that the reason for the delay in enforcing the new fines was because of the condition of the roads. He said, “we will implement the fines as per the amended Motor Vehicles Act from coming January onwards. There is no way we would delay it further.” But there is one change though. Goa will be looking to follow the Gujarat model of implementation wherein certain fines for certain offences will be lowered. Godhino said, “Goan people are different, they go on sentiments. But here we can’t help, we will have to implement the amended Motor Vehicle Act.”
Which fines are being reduced and by how much?
At this point, we do not know which fines are being reduced, but we do know that certain fines, especially those pertaining to drinking and driving will be kept as is. As a reminder, here are some of the main newly revised fines.
- Driving without a license: This will cost 5000 Rupees.
- Not obeying the posted speed-limit: This could range anywhere between Rupees 1000 and 2000.
- Driving without insurance: If valid insurance papers are not produced, the person has to pay a fine of 2000 Rupees
- Riding without a helmet: Not wearing a helmet will attract a fine of 1000 Rupees and the suspension of your license. The same goes for not wearing a seatbelt.
- Letting a juvenile drive your vehicle: If caught, the owner or guardian will be deemed guilty and fined 25,000 Rupees. In addition, he or she will be imprisoned for 3 years, and their registration will be cancelled.
- Dangerous driving: The penalty for rash and negligent driving has been increased from 1000 Rupees to 5000 Rupees.
- Driving under the influence: Drunk drivers will now be penalised 10,000 Rupees.
For a complete list of all the changes and other amendments, click here
In closing, Mauvin Godhino assured the people present that the new fines will only be put into effect once the roads are reasonably repaired. He said, “The work on repair of roads will be over by December and from January 2020 onwards, we can implement the amended Act.” We’ll just have to wait and see if the roads are indeed repaired to the level that we expect.
What are your thoughts on the Motor Vehicle Act and its amendment? Do you think the fines are fair? What about the current state of the roads? Do you think they can be fixed in the next two months? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.