There are a lot of ‘crazy’ traffic offences you may not be aware of in India, and this one perhaps ranks right at the top of that list. Did you know that buying stuff from roadside vendors while at a traffic signal is actually against the law? Well, the Motor Vehicles Act (MVA) even prescribes a hefty fine of Rs. 1,000 for this offence. Remember, not knowing the law is no excuse.
And traffic police officials can even fine you under ‘dangerous driving’ sections of the MVA for this offence. Sounds crazy? Well, hear it straight from the Delhi Police’s special commissioner, Mr. Dependra Pathak. Here’s what Mr Pathak had to say about such little known offences,
These campaigns are planned from time to time, not to punish but to make motorists aware of the law and of the dangers associated with such violations. That’s why we penalise some of these offences under sections pertaining to dangerous driving.
While a section of the Delhi Traffic Police is conducting a traffic rules awareness campaign among motorists, many cops are unaware that such rules exist. One such unnamed traffic constable from West Delhi that HindustanTimes spoke to had this to say about the offence pertaining to buying things from vendors at traffic signals,
The hawkers and beggars slow the traffic and even cause accidents, but we did not know we can prosecute them.
There are a couple of reasons why the MVA prescribes a penalty on motorists buying stuff from vendors at traffic signals,
- Such vending can cause traffic bottlenecks, disrupting the smooth flow of traffic. Vendors are also susceptible to accidents by oncoming vehicles, especially if they do not get back to the pavement before the signal turns green.
- Anti-social elements disguised as vendors often rob motorists by distracting them at traffic signals.