GIS - 27 July, 2018: The Road Traffic Amendment Bill which makes provision for taking swift sanctions after an infringement and make the sanctions more dissuasive, provoking the taking of firm resolutions by undisciplined road-users, was voted in the National Assembly on 24 July 2018.
The main purpose of the Bill is to provide a road safety culture embedded in our society coupled with enforcement, education, appropriate safety features installed in our road and ensuring vehicle road worthiness, along with enhanced traffic management system.
Furthermore, the serving of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) would be obligatorily imposed on an offender giving the latter ample time for payment of the fines or to be prosecuted in Court. In case a contravener fails to pay the appropriate fine within the time limit, Section 193 of the Road Traffic Act provides that the case be referred for enquiry and as the law stands presently, upon being found guilty by Court, the offender shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine which shall not be less than twice the amount specified.
The Bill makes provision for the following:
· With regard to the zero tolerance alcohol approach, the limit has been set to 20 miligrams/100 ml blood
· An increase in fines namely exceeding speed limit by not more than 15 km per hour, the fine is being increased from Rs1000 to Rs 2500; exceeding speed limit by more than 15 km per hour but not more than 25kmph, the fine is being increased from Rs1500 to Rs 5000; and exceeding speed limit by more than 25 km per hour, the fine is being increased from Rs 2500 to Rs 10000
· Disqualification of a person where he is convicted of five cumulative road traffic offences in lieu of six over a period of 24 months. When the driver reaches the five offences, he will be disqualified for a period of six months but not more than 12 months and will undergo a rehabilitation course before recovering the driving licence as is presently the case. However, upon a second disqualification within a period of three years as from the date of expiry of the first disqualification, he will have his driving licence simply cancelled
· Issue of a Cumulative Road Traffic Convictions Notice to a driver after he has committed three Cumulative Road Traffic Offences listed under the Penalty System
· Consolidation of the list of offences in relation to which a FPN may be served bringing them from 141 to 204 within which fines on some 112 will be increased ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 10 000
· An offender to attend court personally and to produce the FPN, the original driving licence and the National Identity Card or the passport. The law also provides that the person shall sign the FPN personally. For offences under the Photographic Enforcement Device Notice, the driver does not need to attend Courts for payment of fines personally.
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