The Himalayan Times, 8 June 2017
If figures released by Metropolitan Traffic Police Division are anything to go by, violation of traffic rules is widespread in Kathmandu Valley.
MTPD registered 5,46,560 traffic rule violations from mid-July to May of the current fiscal and collected approximately Rs 33 million in revenue. As many as 569,809 traffic rule violations were recorded in 2014-15 compared to 548,470 in 2015-16.
The trend of traffic rule violations documented during the period shows that the number of traffic rule violations this fiscal could go much higher than the previous two fiscals. On an average, 10,000 motorists are caught violating traffic rules every month.
DIG Mingmar Lama, MTPD in-charge, said many violations go unregistered motorists tend to breach the rules when they don’t see on-duty cops in uniform.
The lack of infrastructures and adequate road network and traffic congestion during peak hours have also made traffic rule violations a norm in the capital city, conceded a traffic police official. “The government is equally responsible for increased violation of traffic rules and road accidents,” he said.
Common forms of traffic rule violations are a disregard for lane discipline and traffic signals, use of mobile phone while driving, parking vehicles in the no-parking zone, seat belt infraction, mechanical modification of bikes, overloading vehicles, overtaking from the left side of the road and violation of one-way traffic rule, among others. Violation of lane discipline tops the chart of offenses and bikers are mostly ignorant about traffic rules. The use of CCTVs and go-pro cameras to catch offenders have also helped curb traffic rule violations.
Any person caught violating traffic rules is punished with a fine of minimum Rs 500 and maximum Rs 1,500. Earlier, the fine for traffic rule violation was Rs 25 to Rs 200. The official claimed that it could be rare to find a motorist or a biker, who had not been punished by the law enforcement agency for violating traffic rules in the Valley.
A comparison between vehicle registration data of Bagmati zone and statistics maintained by the traffic police corroborates the MTPD claim about offenders to a large extent.