Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday defended the recent hike in traffic fines and described it as a deterrent which will promote road safety and avert accidents.
According to the Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, the higher fines are meant to save lives rather than augment revenue.
Gadkari said that states can decide to lower the fines imposed in their jurisdiction.
"We haven't done this (Amendment Act) to augment revenue. We have done this to save lives. If state governments want to reduce it (fines), they are welcome to do so," Gadkari said when asked about the steep rise in traffic violation penalties.
"We have received a very positive response on this," the minister said, adding that the fines have been increased after 30 years.
The Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, approved by President Ram Nath Kovind last month, aims at stricter punishment for violation of traffic regulations.