Common man cannot pay steep fines under new MVA: Goa BJP

Panaji, April 8 (IANS) Two days after the Goa government notified penalty tariff under the central Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act, 2019, state BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade on Thursday said that the common person in Goa would not be in a position to pay the steep fines.

Tanavade also said that he had requested Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho to keep the amended law in abeyance.

“We have requested the Goa government to keep the amended MVA in abeyance. We have spoken to the CM and Transport Minister. Common Goans will not be able to afford the fees. There should be discipline, but imposing fines alone does not inculcate discipline. Awareness (about traffic laws) should be created instead,” Tanavade said.

According to the earlier penalty tariff, while driving a light motor vehicle without a valid licence attracted a penalty of Rs 500. But now under the new tariff structure the fine has been increased to Rs 1,500.

Fine for overspeeding has also been increased from Rs 400 to Rs 1,500. Those using mobile phones while driving light motor vehicles will be fined Rs 3,000 for the first offence and Rs 10,000 for subsequent offences, while previously the fine was limited to Rs 500.

Repeat offences under the new central law would also result in suspension of the driver’s licence for three months.

While unveiling the tariff during a media interaction on Wednesday, Transport Minister Godinho said that the government had kept the range of penalties to the minimum and that intention of the Goa government was not to pinch the pocket of the common man.

The Opposition on Wednesday had also demanded the immediate withdrawal of the penalty tariff.

The introduction of the new fine tariff comes at a time when political parties in the state are gearing up for the state assembly elections, which are scheduled to be held in early 2022. Elections to five municipal councils are also scheduled to be held later this month.