Road inspection will now be different in the Gelephu region, as the Road Safety and Transport Authority’s (RSTA) regional office has formed a team comprising officials from its six dzongkhags last week to inspect all vehicles thoroughly.

Unlike previous highway inspections, the team will be using inspection equipment such as a speed gun and breath analysers.

RSTA’s deputy chief regional transport officer, Sonam Chophel, said that until now the regional office was unable to implement strict traffic rules because of shortage of human resources although they conducted highway inspections.

He explained that with fewer people inspecting vehicles, the traffic flow, which is usually heavy on the highway, was disturbed. “We were not able to enforce all of the traffic regulations mentioned in the Road Safety and Transport Act because of manpower shortage.”

Sonam Chophel said that they then came up with this regional team.

He said that the team will comprise of more than five people. “They will spend two days in each dzongkhag inspecting highways and gewog centre roads.”

In last two days, the regional motor vehicle inspection team collected Nu 14,750 from traffic violators in Gelephu and Tsirang.

Officials said that most of the people were penalised for drink driving.

The team leader, Kesangla, said that they inspected 269 vehicles so far and found that drink driving was the most common violation, followed by inappropriate number plate. “Inappropriate number plate makes its difficult to recognise the vehicle at night.”

He said that besides inspection and penalising, the team also displays banners with messages about road safety. “We want to intensify road safety enforcement and not just penalise motorists.”

The team also inspected gewog centre (GC) roads of Tsirangtoed, Phuntenchu, Sergithang and Semjong on September 14. With less traffic flow, the team did not find any motorist infringing traffic rules.

The team will also inspect highways of Zhemgang, Trongsa and Bumthang.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang