The Jharkhand government on Saturday said new penalties under the amended Motor Vehicles Act will be implemented in the state only after December, PTI reported. Officials of the transport and traffic departments will use these three months to spread awareness on the amended rules.

During a meeting on Friday, Chief Minister Raghubar Das asked the transport department to set up facilitation centres across the state to enable people get their documents in order. He also urged people to follow traffic rules.

States like Uttarakhand and Gujarat have already announced a reduction in the hefty penalty amounts for traffic violations while Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has instructed transport authorities in the state to reduce fines for traffic violations. The government in Goa said it would first repair the roads in the state as a “moral responsibility” before charging heavy fines under the new law.

States like Rajasthan, West Bengal, Odisha and Maharashtra have also raised concerns about the exorbitant penalties. While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has refused to implement the heavy fines, Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote wrote to Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari about the exorbitant increase.

Gadkari had on Wednesday asked states not to weaken the new law and claimed that it was “done to save lives”. Road safety experts have praised the Centre for bringing in the changes but urged it to implement hefty fines gradually.

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on July 31 and came into force on August 9. Sixty-three clauses, including the penalty provisions, were implemented from September 1. The legislation also aims to remove corruption, improve road safety and use technology to regulate traffic.

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