Ahmedabad/ Rajkot/Surat: Traffic cops seem to be laughing their way to the treasury. Amdavadis paid a massive Rs 27.58 lakh in traffic fines on Monday, the first day that the new fines under the amended Motor Vehicles Act came into force, after the state notified at least fivefold increases in penalties for traffic offenders.
The total amount collected in fines jumped 170%, even though the number of violations dropped by 50%.
In Ahmedabad city on Sunday, only 4,639 traffic violation cases were registered against 8,051 offences on Saturday when fines of Rs 10.44 lakh were collected. These figures include e-challans and on-the-spot fines by traffic cops.
A similar trend was seen in the other major cities of Gujarat. In Rajkot, where people put up the fiercest resistance to the higher fines, Rs 2.19 lakh was collected in 511 cases, against Rs 1.35 lakh collected in 847 cases on Sunday. Surtis paid Rs 5.41 lakh in fines on Monday, up from Rs 3.99 lakh on Sunday.
In Vadodara, the number of cases registered on Monday was about the same as Sunday, but the amount collected rose from Rs 76,660 to Rs Rs 3.25 lakh. Some 646 cases were registered on Monday, while 635 cases had been filed on Sunday.
Not wearing a helmet continued to bleed citizens, the biggest part of the fines in Ahmedabad, Rs 3.11 lakh, came from riders without protective headgear. A distant second was car drivers failing use seat belts, who paid Rs 1.13 lakh in fines.
A traffic police officer said the cops were not aggressively fining offenders, as it would have raised the likelihood of clashes between police and members of the public.
“For the last two days, we did not issue memos to every offender, because people are not yet fully aware about the traffic rules and hefty fines. If we ask them to pay the increased fine, they get into heated arguments with us. This will consume time and energy of the police and the public, and hamper traffic regulation,” the officer said.