As protesters turned violent over amended motor vehicles Act, the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissionerate launched an awareness campaign. The people and police had fought a pitched battle over the enforcement of the Act on September 7.The protesters’ resentment was primarily against steep penalties. The information regarding the amended rules will be spread through loudspeakers attached to a four-wheeler with photographs and posters displayed on it, DCP (Traffic) Sagarika Nath told the media.On the other hand, the demonstrators also demanded unconditional release of the people who were arrested following a clash with police in Bhubaneswar on September 7. Two days after the authorities faced opposition from the people, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had given three months to people to get their papers ready.The Police Commissionerate on September 10 distributed helmets to motorists who were penalised. They also distributed ‘Thank You’ notes to motorists who were following traffic rules.Meanwhile, the Transport Department offices have been witnessing a huge rush of people to apply for and renew driving licences and updating vehicle documents. The department’s offices across the State are also open on holidays to cope with the rush.State Transport Secretary G. Srinivas, who went on a surprise visit to a Regional Transport Office on September 11, said that the State government will decide about reducing the penalty rates after studying notifications issued by other States that had implemented the amended Act.During the window period of three months for people to prepare the papers, the police are focusing on drunken driving, use of mobile phones while driving, driving on the wrong side of roads, triple riding and non-usage of helmets and seat belts.
An Iowa judge has struck down large portions of a 2017 voting reform law, declaring much of it unconstitutional.The law requires voters to show certain forms of identification when voting, requires voters to provide an identification number on absentee ballot applications and allows county auditors to reject ballots if they believe signatures don’t match a voter signature on record.Judge Joseph Seidlin’s ruling says the state may require a voter ID but election officials must issue a voter ID card to any voter who requests one.The law prohibited election officials from issuing cards to voters with a driver’s license or state identification card.He also struck the signature match provisions, saying they violate the Iowa Constitution.The judge also reverses his earlier order that says Iowa Secretary of Paul Pate cannot require a voter ID number on absentee ballot applications, allowing this provision to stand.The ruling follows a lawsuit filed last year by the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa.Pate’s office didn’t immediately respond to a message.AP