Harsher penalty awaits motorists caught on wrong side of road

Book offenders for culpable homicide, says Nagpur Police Commissioner

To reduce the number of fatal accidents in Nagpur, the city’s police commissioner has issued orders to book those caught driving on the wrong side of the road under stronger sections of the Indian Penal Code.

According to police data, 86 people died in fatal accidents in Nagpur in 2017, 87 in 2018 and 86 since January 2019. Nagpur Police Commissioner Dr. Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay said, “It was observed that a large number of fatal accidents were occurring because motorists were driving on the wrong side of the road and crashing into other vehicles. Five days ago, a JCB demolition vehicle veered onto the wrong side and ran over a biker.”

He said the driver was booked under Section 304 (ii) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and not under the usual Section 304 (A) (causing death due to negligence). Section 304 (ii) carries a minimum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment, while Section 304 (A) has a penalty of seven years.

Dr. Upadhyay said, “It is harder for the accused to secure bail when Section 304 (ii) is applied. Usually, when accused are booked under Section 304 (A) in fatal accident cases, they get bail the very next day after being produced in court.” Dr. Upadhyay had adopted a similar policy during his stint as Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) in Mumbai.

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