Awareness campaign on safety rules for pedestrians and drivers to commemorate 60th anniversary

The next time you are walking in town or along the roads, use the zebra crossing to safely cross the roads.

An awareness campaign, initiated by Royal Bhutan Police (RBP), to educate both the drivers and the public to use and respect the zebra crossing was carried out on November 5. The awareness campaign is dedicated to commemorate the 60th Birth Anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

After the awareness is passed on to the motorists and pedestrians, RBP will impose fines on both the drivers and the pedestrians for the violation of rules and regulation.

Under the safety rules and regulation laid down by Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) and enforced by RBP, Penalty Unit 14 of the safety rules states that a motorist failing to give way to pedestrians on the designated areas will be fined Nu 700.

Penalty Unit 11 of the safety rules states that a fine of Nu 550 is imposed on a pedestrian who moves into the path of a vehicle and the ones remaining or standing on the road carriage way.

According to RBP the fines are being imposed on motorists to begin with and not immediately with the pedestrians as more awareness programs are to be done with the pedestrian on the use of zebra crossing.

During the weeklong campaign, the traffic division will post traffic policemen at various places to inform the people on the use of zebra crossings and at the same time stop vehicles at zebra crossings to allow people to cross.

According to the RBP press release of, zebra crossing has been in place for a long time but people hardly use them and even the drivers do not stop at the crossing for the people to pass.

The Chief of Police, Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel, said, “Drivers are all ready to celebrate the program and pedestrians must also cooperate for their safety.”

In 2015 alone, 16 cases of accidents involving pedestrians were reported and it is expected to rise with the increasing number of people coming to urban areas like Thimphu.

Till now RBP traffic has found out that most of the drivers are impatient to wait at the zebra crossings and allow the pedestrians to cross. RBP also found that the public do not use the zebra crossing and use other stretch of the road to cross without caring for their safety.

RBP distributed pamphlets of the safety rules for pedestrians and drivers with the message, ‘always use zebra crossing for your safety and give way to a pedestrian on a zebra crossing’.

The Pedestrians Rules, Part-11 of RSTA Regulations 1999 states that pedestrians must not put themselves or anyone else in danger by moving into the path of an ongoing vehicle.

The drivers must not cross a zebra road if there is a pedestrian crossing within 20 meters, pedestrian must cross the road by the shortest and most direct route practicable and are not to obstruct traffic by unreasonably remaining on a road.

The Penalty 11 units says pedestrian travelling on roads must not travel if there is a foothpath that is not practicable to use, while traveling on a road pedestrian must travel as close as is practicable to the edge of the road and must not travel more than two abreast a road. Moreover, pedestrians must not attempt to get on a moving vehicle.

The Vehicle Rules, Part 6 of RSTA Regulations 1999 states that giving way to a pedestrian on a zebra crossing, incase motorist approach a pedestrian crossing at a speed must stop if necessary before reaching it and must give way to pedestrians on a pedestrian crossing.

The Penalty 14 Units says that a motorist must not drive or ride onto a pedestrian crossing if another vehicle facing in the same direction as your vehicle and on the part of the road used by the main body of moving vehicles is stopped or about to stop at the crossing.

While giving way or when entering or leaving a road, the one who is driving or riding out of a car park, petrol station, private driveway or other land adjacent to a road, must give way to a pedestrian or vehicle travelling in either direction along the road, foothpath and nature strip.

Moreover, motorist while making a turn into a car park, petrol station, private driveway, other land adjacent to a road, must give a way to any pedestrian on the road and rider of a bicycle.

The fines imposed on both the drivers and pedestrians will be based on the penalty units, which is of 14 and 11 units into Nu 50.

As of now, there are 59 zebra crossings in Thimphu; 22 zebra crossings along the Thimphu-Babesa Expressway, 22 at Norzin Lam and 15 at Chang Lam.

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