The director of the Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit (TMRSU) announces that the number of Cumulative Road Traffic Offenses has increased from 11 to 32. It was Tuesday on the show Au Cœur de l'Info, hosted by Jean-Luc Émile. Which did not fail to arouse the amazement of the other guests.

New regulations and the revision of fines for road offenses and the Road Traffic Amendment Bill were discussed yesterday, Tuesday, on the program Au Cœur de l'Info. This bill aims to increase around thirty “fixed penalties”, such as Rs 25,000 for non-compliant registration plates, Rs 5,000 for not wearing a seat belt, and up to Rs 12,500 for speeding over 25 km/h.

During his intervention, the director of the TMRSU indicated that the aim behind these amendments is to reduce the number of fatal and serious accidents. “There are accidents that can be avoided. By increasing the fines, it will have a deterrent effect on people. This will discourage them from committing habitual offenses,” pointed out Dev Nathoo.

He announced that Cumulative Road Traffic Offenses will also increase. “There is an amendment to the 3rd schedule concerning Cumulative Road Traffic Offenses, which instead of 11 increases to 32. If a person commits four offenses within two years, their license can be suspended,” explains- he. The latter adds that the new offenses concern more than one passenger on a motorcycle, having passengers on a box, not wearing a fluorescent vest, showing to drive for payment without an Instructor's License, among others.

Road safety expert Barlen Munusami said he was “shocked” to learn that 21 offenses were added to the list of 11 Cumulative Road Traffic Offenses.

“There were initially 11 offenses. At the time, it was decided that if a person committed more than six offenses in 24 months, their license would be disqualified. In 2018, this threshold was lowered to five offenses. In 2023, realizing that this did not have the desired effect, the threshold was further reduced to four offenses,” he recalls.

He continues that the number of offenses increasing from 11 to 32, with 21 new offenses added, is likely to come as a shock to many. “With more violations, the risk of losing your license increases considerably. A person can easily accumulate four offenses. There will be unforeseeable consequences, many licenses will be revoked,” warns our interlocutor.

Political suicide

Barlen Munusami believes that coming with such a measure on the eve of the elections is not without repercussions. “Going from 11 to 32 offenses is political suicide. This is a dangerous step and I was not aware of it myself. On the eve of the elections, this is not a measure that can be applied without serious consequences. Some simple offenses do not concern safety, and people risk losing their license overnight,” he warned.

The road safety expert further argues that there is a lot of “nonsense” in this new bill. “This was all done in haste. Speeding fines are deserved because speed causes deaths. But other offenses are not. The issue of number plates with a fine of Rs 25,000 is nonsense,” he believes.

Mᵉ Siddhartha Hawaldar believes that changing people's behavior requires a change in mentality, not an overnight change in the law. “The solution does not lie in a simplistic approach. It seems that the law is put in place hastily, as an immediate reaction to a problem (firefighting). There is no quick fix, but a gradual approach is necessary. Otherwise, it will still be a failure and we will not achieve our goals. Attitudes have been formed over time and cause damage on our roads, but increasing fines will not be enough to change them,” he said.

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