Chennai, Jun 13 (PTI)
The Madras High Court Wednesday directed the Tamil Nadu government to issue orders for empowering police officers above sub-inspector rank to impose spot fines and compound offences committed by motorists.
A division bench comprising justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad issued the directive while hearing a petition filed by K K Rajendran, seeking to implement the compulsory helmet rule both for rider and pillion.
It recorded the steps taken by the police and the transport department for violation of the motor vehicle rules. In view of the increase of traffic by 150 per cent, the government within a week should exercise the powers conferred under sub-section (1) of section 200 of the Motor Vehicles Act and issue appropriate orders empowering all officers not below the rank of SIs to discharge the duties of the sub-inspector of Traffic Police.
Additional advocate general Arvind Pandiyan submitted that at least two weeks were needed for carrying out the court order as the machines for spot fine have to come and the police officers have to be trained to use them.
The bench then posted the matter for further hearing on June 21. The court was also informed that Rs 605.55 crore had been spent from year 2000 to 2019 by the government for road safety. Police had registered 14.06 lakh cases for not wearing helmets and 39 lakh cases for not wearing seat belts in 2018 alone as per the guidelines of the Supreme court.
The apex court, which had viewed the rise in road fatalities, had issued a host of directions to all the states to accord top priority for road safety. The high court was also informed that one nodal officer (ADSP, headquarters) has been nominated for road safety to prevent accidents in all districts and cities, and a monthly high-level meeting was convened.