The new challan rules of 2019 surely have caused an impact in our country. But does that translate well for its people? Our collaborator, Mr Mohit Chaurasia offers some insights on this issue.
There are rules. And then there are rules in India.
The yellow light of the traffic signal is there to tell the driver to slow down in time before it turns red. Alas, a design can only be as effective as the people for whom it is designed. In India, as soon as the signal turns yellow, instead of slowing down, drivers and riders accelerate their speed to cross over faster. I think this practice has been prevalent in India since the very inception of the concept of traffic signals. Caution could never overcome heroism even at the cost of risking the safety of self and others.
Fortunately, this puerile behaviour appears to be coming to an end. Earlier, when a person used to push the accelerator in the blind hope of crossing the road; now that same driver slams the brakes instead, to stop in time before the zebra crossing!
What has brought about this drastic behavioural change in the nonchalant Indian driver? What has happened in the recent past, that the yellow light (read as partial green), has once again become a sign of ‘stop’?
It’s a classic case of people not paying attention to words or warning until a certain action impacts them for disobeying the law.
This sudden transformation is wholly due to the steep enhancement of the new challan amount/ fine for traffic violations promulgated by the Indian Central Government. Since it came into effect from 1st September 2019, social media is rife with videos of citizens being heavily fined, sometimes entirely disproportionate with the value of the driven vehicle.
Every year, more than 1.5 Lakh(1) fatalities take place on Indian roads. Ideally, this should have been a good enough warning for us to get our act together. Unfortunately, we live by the motto ‘Out of sight, Out of mind’. If an accident doesn’t involve our near or dear ones, we don’t really care about following any rules. This has led our government to come out with drastic measures of heavy fines with the intent of increasing road safety.
Within the scope of my personal observations, I have seen that traffic rules are now being followed completely. The fear of exorbitant fines has led to a steep reduction in traffic violations. Nowadays, after a party, your drunk friend won’t go around insisting, ‘Gaadi tera bhai chalayega’ (I will drive the car today!). Instead, fearing the huge fine if caught, he would look for alternatives to get home.
Similarly, traffic violations such as over-speeding, crossing the line, jumping traffic signals, wrong-side driving, etc., every offence can have a major consequence. Fines for these offences are well deserved. On your part, you can avoid getting fined by just doing one basic thing – following the traffic rules.
There might be times when due to some reasons you might not be carrying all the necessary documents. Don’t stress, the government has come out with a clarification that it is ok, as long as you are able to produce the necessary documents within a period of 15 days at the mentioned court. The government has also made a concession that one need not carry physical copies of certain documents (RC Book, Insurance Copy, Pollution-Under-Control Certificate and Driving License); even producing a digital copy shall suffice.
Besides this, the government has come out with a very convenient app called DigiLocker, where one can store digital copies of important documents like Driving License, RC Book, LPG Connection, Insurance copies etc. You can easily access all the documents just by entering the ID and the One-Time-Password (OTP) received on the phone. The DigiLocker app is a great initiative and shows that the government is doing its best to walk the talk as far as Digital India is concerned. You can visit the website at www.digilocker.gov.in.
This law can be termed as a historic move by the central government. Plus with the advent of DigiLocker, it can help Indian citizens in following the rules in an effective manner. It has the potential to drastically reduce the fatalities thereby causing a rise in the general well being and safety of drivers and pedestrians on Indian roads.
Having said that, its effective implementation is yet to be assessed in the long run. There is always a fear, that bigger the fine, greater the scope for corruption. But at the moment, these rules have kept the Indian driver within his lane. Today, compliance is driven more by fear, hopefully, one day we will comply with rules because that’s just the right thing to do…
Let’s learn to be right and safe. Let’s make India accident free.
About Mohit Chaurasia:
Lawyer and Company Secretary by qualification, Mohit is an accomplished entrepreneur. He left his well placed corporate role to start his own business several years ago. His journey towards success has been phenomenal and inspiring. After years of continuous hard work in building his business, he got a calling to help budding entrepreneurs through his own experience and knowledge. Today, he is a prominent public speaker, author, consultant and a business coach to many aspirants who dream of living a successful life.
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