The amended Motor Vehicles Act is making cops across India dig into little known sections of the law, and these laws can be used against you. One such law is the one against riding a geared motorcycle with chappals/sandals. Under the amended Motor Vehicles Act, you can be fined Rs. 1,000 for riding a geared motorcycle while wearing chappals/sandals. Repeat offenders could even face jail time of 15 days, reports IndiaTimes.
The logic behind this rule is that chappals/sandals may interfere with gear shifting, and this could potentially lead to accidents. It could also lead to lower grip on the brake lever, which is again a safety hazard. Moreover, riding any two wheeler with chappals/sandals can cause severe injuries during a fall as the foot is not protected. Ideally, everyone should were motorcycle boots while riding a two wheeler in the interest of safety. However, that may not be practical for most people, which is why they prefer to ride with chappals/sandals. A safer alternative will be covered shoes that offer some amount of protection, and also lot of grip for gear shifting.
Most cops across India are yet to begin implementing the law against chappals/sandals on geared motorcycles. However, don’t be surprised if you’re actually stopped for this offence, and fined a hefty Rs. 1,000. Many Indian police officials, especially those handling traffic, are known to be very corrupt, and often make up laws or dig up little known offences to either demand a bribe or a legitimate penalty from vehicle owners.
So, in your own interest, it’s best that you wear covered shoes while riding a geared two wheeler. And if you can afford it, opt for motorcycle boots, which will protect you during a fall. Also, ensure that a crash helmet is worn while riding any kind of two wheeler. That’s the bare minimum you can do for your own safety.
Meanwhile, protests against the exorbitant fines under the amended Motor Vehicles Act has broken out across many states. In Jharkhand and Odisha, angry citizens were seen protesting against these fines and also surrounding police officials and politicians openly flouting the law. Many state governments in India including West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kerala and Goa have chosen not to implement the steep fines under the amended Motor Vehicles Act. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik is said to have told law enforcement officials to stop charging hefty penalties from rule breakers for 3 months, during which they have been also asked to spread awareness among motorists about the various traffic offences, and the fines associated with them. In other parts of India though, law enforcement agencies have already begun levying hefty fines on traffic rule breakers.