Violation of traffic laws: Islamabad likely to embrace Punjab’s idea of heavy fines

  • ITP, currently, imposes fine between Rs100 to Rs500 on different kinds of violations

ISLAMABAD: Embracing the idea of the Punjab government to impose heavy traffic fines, the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) is also interested to follow the same path by spiking the fine amount by 900 percent, tightening the noose around the motorists who dare to flout traffic rules.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Furukh Rashid said that the idea to increase the fine amount had been proposed to the quarters concerned, with the request to enhance the maximum penalty to Rs 5,000 to rein in the motorists who blatantly and deliberately break the law.

The Ministry of Interior Affairs had asked for comments on the summary received from the police, seeking a comparison of fines in Punjab and Islamabad, he added. In order to enforce rule of law on the roads, “there is dire need to revise the traffic penalties for the violators,” he said.

The senior traffic official said that the increase in traffic challans was the only feasible choice at this stage. To a question, he said that the current level of fines did not bring changes in behaviour of the violators despite massive campaigns to make motorists aware how important it is for them to respect rules that help protect lives.

Currently, the Islamabad Traffic Police could impose fine of only Rs 100 and 300 on those who do not wear helmets and seat belts while driving. While Rs 500 were charged for violation of the red signal and use of mobile phone during drive. If proposed challan rates were approved, then traffic police could impose a minimum ticket of Rs 1,000 on the unruly road users.

A traffic warden stationed near the Zero Point said that the increased challans would help curtail road mishaps. “Stern actions are need of the hour as some bikers did not use helmets deliberately due to low fines,” he said. “We have employed different methods ranging from awareness campaigns to seminars in order to sensitise people about traffic rules as a number of deaths is surging with each passing day,” he said.

Appreciating the move, he said that it would help increase the revenue of the department as present resources of ITP was undermining its efficiency. Highlighting the ITP’s limited resources, the official said that the department does not even have a crane to remove a damaged vehicle from the road speedily to clear way for other road users.

“We are forced to use outdated fork lifters for the purpose,” he said, adding that 36 patrolling cars, 70 bikes and six obsolete lifters were the entire support available to cover over 906 square kilometre area of the Islamabad territory. Shahzaib Haider, a motorist, termed the increase in fines a step in the right direction and hoped it would bring real change on roads of the capital.

He said that most of the accidents occurred due to rash acts of the bikers. However, Sultan Ali, another bike rider, expressed his resentment over the proposed idea, saying a bike user could not pay Rs 1,000 for a minor violation. He urged the authorities concerned to exempt the bikers from such heavy penalties, keeping in mind the factor of affordability.