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The Kerala government has decided to go ahead with its efforts to reduce traffic fines as much as possible within the legal ambit of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019.

While a meeting convened by the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday to discuss the contentious issue remained inconclusive, there has been a general consensus on the need to moderate the quantum of fines and enforce lower penalties in the case of violations that have a defined range of fines.

Terming the manifold hikes in traffic fines as “illogical and unscientific”, Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran told media persons that the government has been exploring various options to ensure that motorists were not subjected to unreasonable penalties, even while it ensured highest priority for road safety.

The Motor Vehicles department has been tasked with fixing the quantum of those fines which were flexible and could be modified by the State. In the case of the other provisions of the Act, the government has sought legal advice from the Law Department on steps that could be adopted within its authority. Mr. Saseendran hinted that the government considered approaching the Centre to seek an ordinance to bring down the hefty hikes.

With the Centre yet to respond to Mr. Saseendran’s formal communication for reviewing the provisions of the law, the Chief Minister has assured to raise the issue through official channels.

Responding to a query, Mr. Saseendran added that the State did not oppose the law per se, but stood against the unjust hikes and the manner in which the Act was implemented. Law Minister A.K. Balan, Chief Secretary Tom Jose and senior officials of the police, Motor Vehicles and Law departments also participated in the discussion.
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