At least 50 drivers on average penalized every day
Traffic: The government coffer has become richer by Nu 10.6 million (M) collected in fines, in seven months, since the Zero Tolerance Day was initiated across the country in April.
Obviously with more number of vehicles, Thimphu tops the list for traffic rule violators with a collection of about Nu 4.4M followed by Wangduephodrang and Phuentsholing with Nu 1.1M and 1.0M collected respectively until October.
On an average, a fine of about Nu 1.5M has been imposed every month to drivers across the country who were either found speeding, double parking, using mobile phones when driving and drink driving, among others.
Of the total of 10,896 drivers, 1,400 drivers across the country have been issued Transport Infringement Notice (TIN) for not carrying their driving license, which tops the list of offence. A sum of Nu 750 is imposed for not producing driving license on the spot. Other frequent traffic rule violations are drink-driving, parking in no parking areas, driving without license, speeding and overloading. (See table)
Drink driving tops the list of violation in the capital. About 867 drivers in Thimphu were issued TIN for drink driving. Thimphu traffic police on October 31 alone issued TIN for drink driving to 22 drivers that translates to Nu 38,500 collected as penalty.
Chief of Police Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel, during a meeting with Thimphu taxi drivers on November 2, said that they are working on stricter penalty for drink driving as the offence not only risks the life of a driver but also of others. A sum of Nu 1,750 is imposed for drink driving today.
The Zero Tolerance Day started since April 17 to bring down the number of vehicle accidents where routine checking goes on from 8am to 3am throughout the country every Friday and Saturdays.
Traffic police division’s officer in Command, Captain Kencho Tshering said that except for a few drivers, most are cooperative. “There has been a drop in accidents especially during weekends,” he said.
Despite RBP’s effort to make drivers understand their responsibility and abide by the law, police said they are often blamed for being biased while some driver tend to start an argument to avoid being penalized.
Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel said that with more number of vehicles in the city, it was difficult to check all the vehicles.
The traffic police stops about three vehicles and allow the rest to go and the same process continues so that people don’t have to wait for long in queue. “And that’s when people misunderstand that police don’t check Prados and Land Cruisers,” he added.