Stiffer fine seems to have acted as a deterrent to traffic rule violations in the Kathmandu Valley.
New penalty structure for breach of traffic rules had come into force across the country from May 15. The fines for traffic rule violations were increased through an amendment to Section 164 of the Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act, 1993.
Superintendent of Police Lokendra Malla, who is also the spokesperson for the MTPD, told The Himalayan Times that stiffer fines coupled with proactive law enforcement and increased awareness among the motorists had yielded positive results.
“The number of traffic rule violations has decreased by nearly 75 per cent since the quantum hike in fines. It indicates that when there is a petty fine, motorists do not mind flouting the rules,” he said.
Rule violations have come down to three digit numbers from four digits since the new fine structure came into force.
As many as 15,039 persons were booked for flouting traffic rules a week (May 8 to 14) before the new amendment against only 5,240 during the next week (May 15-21).
According to the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, the comparison of one-week data before and after the commencement of the new fine structure showed that the number of traffic rule violations came down to nearly three times, which it largely attributes to the heavier penalty.
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 maximum fine imposed by traffic police before the amendment came into force was Rs 1,000 for drink-driving. Traffic police said the revised structure has proven a deterrent. “It was highly essential to tighten the noose on traffic offenders.
Only a hefty fine would have deterred them from breaking rules, as most of the motorists and riders flout the rules intentionally,” said SP Malla.
The amendment to the law for fine increment also aims to reduce road accidents and bring traffic sense among road users.