On August 12, 2013, traffic police increased the fine amount from Rs.200 to Rs.1,000 for signal jumping and wrong parking, whereas for cell phone driving the fine amount has increased from Rs.500 to Rs.1,000.
It is a good move by the government to take measures to reduce and check traffic violations, but not at the cost of affecting the lifestyle of the citizens. The amount they are collecting as fines is a bit too much for general public, more specifically to the middle-class citizens. Punishments and fines must make people realize their mistakes and learn not to do them again, but rules or fines collected in Hyderabad are squeezing people for the mistakes they have done knowingly or unknowingly.
In this article, we will see how Rs.1,000 traffic fine is harsh to middle-class people.
Rs.1,000 is a big share of middle-class person’s monthly income
- Per capita income of Hyderabad is just Rs.6,440 per month for the year 2012-13. Rs.1,000 is 15% of it.
- Minimum wage of a highly skilled employee according to department of labour and employment is Rs.8,871
- Assuming a person earns Rs.9,000 per month.
- Person works 22 days in a month i.e., he earns approx. Rs.410 per day. Rs.1,000 is 2.5 days of hard earned money.
- If he takes one day leave or comes late, there are further deductions and earns an amount around Rs.8,000.
- Taking into account his monthly expenses like rent (expensive in the city), food, fuel and other bills and taxes, Rs.1,000 is a very big share of his income. What can he save at the end of the month? It is very harsh to middle-class people.
Rs.1,000 indirectly increases the corruption rate
- If it was Rs.200 or Rs.500 as before, people can afford and pay it legally and realize they should not do it again.
- But, people do not tend to pay their hard earned money (Rs.1,000) just as a fine for cell phone driving or signal jumping.
- Instead, they try to convince traffic police by managing to pay an amount less than Rs.1,000. Thus, increasing corruption.
Traffic violation fines and punishments are different in U.S
- In the U.S., they do not collect fines for every single violations. Instead, they punish violators by not allowing them to drive vehicle by suspending and revoking their licenses for certain time period or permanently, depending on the intensity of the violation.
- Wrong parking, parking in no parking zones in U.S. is considered “Non-moving Violations” and is fined at very lower rate and it does not appear in the record.
- Signal jumping, wrong u-turns, come under “Moving Violations” and the punishment for this is suspension of the license for a few weeks to few years depending on the severity of the violation.
Traces of British Raj can still be seen in India
- Many government officials are feeling the power and instead of serving people, they are behaving as the British did to Indians, and are ruling us. They feel they are superior to common man and do not care to respect them or serve them.
- Same is the case with many traffic police. They treat people who violate rules as criminals and talk in a way, such that they hurt self-respect of the people. Finally, they extract maximum from them (However, not all traffic police are same).
We are already paying many taxes towards very little developments. Like a fuel to fire, the increased traffic fines are burning the pockets of average middle-class people.
I request government to frame rules or policies that are beneficial to the people and increases the quality of life of people, rather than waiting for an opportunity to loot people’s hard earned money.
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Revised Traffic Fines in Hyderabad City