Sikkim Government Enforces Stricter Penalties to Enhance Road Safety

Northeast Desk, 22nd May: In a decisive move to bolster road safety and curb traffic violations, the Government of Sikkim has announced the implementation of stringent penalties for traffic offenses. These new regulations will come into effect on May 25, 2024, for the AI-driven e-challan system and on June 1, 2024, for mandatory seatbelt and helmet usage. This marks a significant update from the previous rules established on December 5, 2019.

The revised penalties encompass a broad spectrum of traffic violations, including over-speeding, refusal to stop for weight checks, driving without valid insurance, and disobeying traffic signals. For instance, over-speeding fines for goods vehicles are set at Rs 4,000 per incident, and drivers who refuse to submit their vehicles for weight checks will face a severe penalty of Rs 40,000.

For driving uninsured vehicles, the fine is Rs 2,000 for the first offense, escalating to Rs 4,000 for subsequent violations within 15 days. Violations of zebra crossing rules will incur a Rs 500 fine for the first offense and Rs 1,500 for repeat offenses. Similarly, the use of tinted windows will result in a Rs 500 fine initially, increasing to Rs 1,500 for repeated offenses within a week. Over-speeding in light motor vehicles will cost offenders Rs 1,000 per incident, with the fine doubling to Rs 2,000 for repeated violations.

Additional penalties have been introduced for hazardous driving behaviors. Jumping red lights will attract a Rs 5,000 fine, which doubles for repeat offenses. Using a mobile phone while driving will result in a Rs 5,000 fine for the first offense and Rs 10,000 for subsequent infractions.

Emphasizing the importance of safety gear, the regulations mandate the use of seatbelts and helmets. From June 1, 2024, drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts in Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) and commercial vehicles will be penalized under Section 194 B (1) of the Central Motor Vehicle (CMV) Act, 1988. Motorcyclists must wear helmets conforming to Bureau of Indian Standards, with violations punishable under Section 194 C of the CMV Act.

The government’s stringent measures aim to instill a culture of safety and responsibility among road users, ensuring a significant reduction in traffic-related incidents and enhancing overall road safety across Sikkim.

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