As the figures on traffic violations rise rapidly year by year, Superintendent of Thimphu traffic division, Major Pasang Dorji, emphasized that they have no tolerance for traffic violators.
Records with the Thimphu traffic division show that there has been a drastic increase in traffic violations over the span of a year.
In Thimphu alone 17,377 cases of traffic violation were compiled within the capital city in 2012, a significant jump from 4,175 cases recorded in 2011, 3,377 cases in 2010 and 3,230 cases reported in 2009.
Nationwide there was 26,457 cases of traffic violations in 2012.
Superintendent of Thimphu traffic division, Major Pasang Dorji said that increase in the violation figures was due to introduction of intensified and continuous high way checking which had begun from April, 2011.
The Traffic SP said another was strict implementation of the law on traffic violators without excuses.
Other factors like bad roads, weather conditions, mechanical defect, and human error like speeding and not following traffic rules were also attributed to as reasons in the rise of traffic violations the SP added.
The SP said that increase in the number of traffic violations remains a concern as every traffic violation can potentially result in an injury and the loss of lives. He cited the examples of how 23-year old, Zangmo and 64-year old man were killed in two different accidents near the Dhejung Honda showroom, expressway, Babesa, on the evening of September 17, last year and February 1, this year.
In Thimphu speeding offences made up the bulk of traffic violations in 2012 with more than 2,528 cases followed by 2,312 cases of using mobile phone while driving, 2,016 cases of driving without license, 1,424 cases for no parking offence, 929 cases for double parking and 615 cases for drunk driving.
The fine is Nu 1,750 for speeding, Nu 1,000 for using mobile phone while driving the fine, Nu 750 for not producing driving license on the spot, and other fines range from Nu 600 to Nu 2,500.
In Thimphu revenue of Nu 3.3 mn was collected in 2011 for violating traffic rules but in 2012 the amount of fines collected jumped up to Nu 21 mn.
The Major said that despite all the efforts made by the division, drivers still do not follow the rules, land up in accidents, injure themselves and at times kill others.
In the country today there are 81,241 driving licenses including 12,792 professional driving licenses.
With the increase in the number of the vehicles there has also been an increase in the number of deaths caused by accidents. 77 deaths were recorded in 2009 and 104 deaths in 2011 across the country. In 2012, the death total was 96.
The injury rate has also bounced up drastically from 579 in 2009 to 623 cases in 2011 and 611 cases in 2012.
This year, 55 accident cases were compiled as of January end with one death case.
With help from the Ugyen Trading, the police under a pilot project installed CCTV cameras on October 11, 2012 with the aim to monitor traffic offenders. The SP hopes that with this project there would be a change in the number of traffic violations.
Besides keeping an eye on the traffic violators, SP said that this project will help in the reduction of the manpower.
SP reiterated the need for all road users, motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to act responsibly.
“It is paramount that all of us respect the traffic rules and stick to them. If we can all exercise due care and diligence, we can make the road safer for everyone,” he said.
Chencho Dema / Thimphu