Even diplomats violating traffic rules?

KATHMANDU: Taking advantage of the country's weak law and order, diplomats in Nepal are brazenly violating traffic rules and exposing their threatening behaviour against the traffic personnel manning the road.

In their latest show of disrespectful act, foreign diplomats in Kathmandu are misusing the blue plate of their vehicles making it increasingly harder for the traffic police personnel to deal with the lawbreaker.

Project vehicles of diplomatic missions in Kathmandu are among the major culprits, say traffic police. Some diplomats are said to have been using threatening langauge against the traffic police personnel when the latter tried to take control of the car they park illegally.

Consider this: Yesterday, a blue plate vehicle entered in a no-entry zone. Inspector Ram Shrestha stopped the vehicle and asked the driver if in case he did not see the no-entry board.

But to Shrestha's dismay, the sulky driver got down and shouted at him loudly saying that a traffic police was not supposed to 'disturb' or 'stop' the blue plate vehicles.

"He warned me that he will complain it to higher authorities. I told him politely that he must not enter into a no-parking zone, but he was defiant and non-compliant," Shrestha said. "He continuously warned me that, he will use his power," complains the inspector. Talking to The Himalayan Times, chief of the Valley Traffic Police, DIG Binod Singh, said the matter was raised today at the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division.

"We concluded that no one is allowed to break traffic rules or any other rules that a country has. Be it diplomat or common people, rules are for everyone and must be respected," DIG Singh said, adding that the diplomats cannot be treated with differential regard just because they are diplomats.

"Whenever our traffic police personnel stops the blue plate vehicles, they show their red card and warn them," says DIG Singh, adding, "I have ordered the traffic police to take a picture of such blue plate vehicles on the spot as they violate traffic rules."

"This is a recent move taken by us in view of a flurry of complaints pouring in from traffic personnel," he added. Once the pictures are taken, a written complaint will be lodged at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with the pictures.

The Ministry is the relevant authority who can take action against these vehicles and the drivers since the traffic police have no authority to impound the diplomatic vehicles, added DIG Singh.