New Delhi: In areas under municipal corporations and municipalities, wearing helmets is not mandatory anymore in Gujarat as the government has amended the Motor Vehicles Act relaxing the stringent norms, raising questions over road safety. On highways and rural areas, however, wearing a helmet remains mandatory.

Traffic rules have become stringent from September 1 after Parliament passed the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act. Under the new rules, driving without wearing a helmet can invite a penalty of Rs 1,000. Facing uproar, the Gujarat government amended the rules and brought it down to Rs 500.

The state government has already amended most of the rules.

The penalty for not wearing a helmet is changed to Rs 500 as against Rs 1,000

For not wearing seat belts, Rs 500 will be charged, as against Rs 1000

Driving a vehicle without driving license will attract a fine of Rs 2000 for the two-wheelers and Rs 3000 for the rest, as against Rs 5000 under the new rule

If the license, insurance, PUC, RC book is not there, the fine will be as per the new Motor Vehicles Act. For the first time, Rs 500 will be fined and second time penalty is Rs 1,000.

For triple riding, the fine will be Rs 100 as against Rs 1000 in the MV Act

Under the new Act, driving a polluting vehicle attracts a fine of Rs 10,000. But in Gujarat, it will be Rs 1,000 for small vehicles and Rs 3,000 for large vehicles.

Even after all these relaxations, the state government made wearing the helmet optional. A minister, according to reports, said, why one should wear a helmet while going to buy vegetables.