Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines

Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines
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Passengers wait for transportation during a public transport strike in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (AP)
Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines
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An auto-rickshaw driver rests during a public transport strike in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (AP)
Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines
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A crow flies over Delhi's skyline as rows of auto-rickshaws and taxis parked during a public transport strike in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (AP)
Updated 19 September 2019

Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines

Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines
  • The United Front of Transport Associations called for the strike in New Delhi to protest the higher fines which took effect Sept. 1
  • Under the new law, the minimum penalty has been increased from $1.40 to $7

NEW DELHI: Commuters in India’s capital faced difficulties Thursday as much of the city’s public transportation, including private buses, auto-rickshaws and some ride-hailing services, remained off the roads to protest a sharp increase in traffic fines under a new law.
The government hopes the new Motor Vehicles Act will bring order to India’s chaotic roads with an almost tenfold increase in fines for traffic offenses.
The United Front of Transport Associations called for the strike in New Delhi to protest the higher fines, which took effect Sept. 1 as economic growth in India has slumped to a six-year low.
The minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, says the increase in fines is needed to improve the appalling safety record of India’s roads, where more than 100,000 people are killed and nearly 500,000 injured in accidents every year.
Under the new law, the minimum penalty has been increased from $1.40 to $7. The penalty for driving without a license has risen from $14 to $70.
Traffic police across the country have taken to social media to educate citizens about the new rules. But many Indians are critical of the new law. Some posted pictures on Twitter of huge potholes on roads and asked what the government was doing to fix them.