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Road Safety Revamp: Fines Jump 150%, Get Ready to Pay



Road Safety Revamp: Fines Jump 150%, Get Ready to Pay
Image source: Defi Media

The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill is set to be introduced in the National Assembly on Tuesday, June 18, featuring significant changes aimed at strengthening road safety measures in Mauritius.

The proposed bill includes the review of 30 “fixed penalties” for various traffic offenses, with some fines increasing significantly.

Notably, the fine for not wearing a seatbelt will jump from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000, while the penalty for non-compliant vehicle registration plates will increase from Rs 1,000 to Rs 25,000.

The fine for speeding exceeding 25 km/h will rise from Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,500.

According to Road Safety Expert Barlen Munusami, the increased fines are necessary to deter reckless driving and improve road safety.

“When fines are too low, they do not serve as a deterrent. The fine for excessive speed, which increases to Rs 12,500 for speeds exceeding 25 km/h, is justified as any excessive speed can cause fatal accidents,” he said.

Expert Munusami also expressed concerns about the clarity of the regulation regarding three-dimensional (3D) acrylic number plates, considering that it may lead to confusion among law enforcement officers.

“What is the logic behind this increase? The law is taking into account the dimensions and space, but does not mention 3D acrylic plates. Many are wondering if these plates are legal or not. There are many gray areas in the regulation that need to be reviewed before increasing fines,” he added.

Regarding the new provision allowing the transfer of vehicle ownership without a fitness certificate from the National Transport Authority (NTA), Munusami argued that this may lead to abuse.

“Many police officers might issue wrongful fines as there is no clear regulation on the type of number plates authorized,” he said.

The bill is also introducing new regulations for procession structures and stiffens penalties for rally organizers.

Former Deputy Commissioner Cyril Appajala explained that increasing resources for the NTA would be more effective in addressing road safety issues. “The problem will be solved with experienced human resources. We cannot manage with pressure and repression; we must talk to officers and find solutions,” he advised.

The proposed bill is expected to be debated in the National Assembly on Tuesday, June 18.

Source: Defi Media

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