Road users have expressed disapproval over the new traffic fines proposed in Draft Road Safety and Transport Bill, 2017, particularly with regard to the speeding fine of Nu 5000.
Many expressed that the proposed fine is not to provide safer roads but to make revenue while few suggested fines should be increased for DUI (driving under influence) because DUI cases are listed as the highest every year.
“We are not saying the fine for speeding is Nu. 5000,” said RSTA’s Karma Pemba. “We, as task force members working on the new bill proposed Nu 5000 considering the increasing violation of traffic regulations.”
The committee working on the bill comprises 20 task force members from several agencies including RSTA, Traffic Division and communication ministry.
The communication ministry initiated the revision of RSTA Act 1999 and accordingly came up with a first draft bill 2017 based on feedbacks and suggestions the citizens.
“We would like to inform the public not to be alarmed with the new fine because since it is the first draft, there is a chance it might change, but we cannot say it will increase or decrease but certainly it will change,” Karma Pemba said. “We are happy that people are giving us feedback and suggestions and we take all of their comments positively.”
However Traffic Division Police Superintendent said fines for prevalent offences like speeding, DUI, reckless driving and culpable driving should be increased.
“Our study identified that there are increasing negligence because the penalty for the offence is too less,” he said.
“People instantly pay a fine of Nu 1,700 for violating the traffic regulation, but if we increase the fine, people will be mindful because no one wants to pay a huge amount.”
He also said that investigations into a series of accidents over past few days indicated speeding and operating under the influence of alcohol.
He said, “the fines for offences like an operator driving with the valid driving license but sometimes forgets to carry his license should be decreased”.
He also said that although Friday is Zero Tolerance Day, traffic police apprehend 5-6 people every Friday violating traffic regulations.
Karma Pemba clarified that under Insurance and Compensation the correct clause would be, in partial disablement, a person shall receive a compensation of Nu. 20,000 while in permanent disablement, he or she shall receive a compensation of Nu. 50,000.
He said that the earlier clause in the bill was a typing error by the drafters of the bill.