Govt preparing to hike traffic fine by up to 600 per cent

Kathmandu, May 17

The government is preparing to increase the fine for violation of traffic rules by up to 600 per cent.

Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa had directed the Department of Transport Management to work on new penalty structure after a meeting with government secretaries, departmental heads, inspector general of police, mayors of Kathmandu and Lalitpur metropolitan cities, and chief district officers of Kathmandu valley at Singha Durbar yesterday.

“As per yesterday’s decision, the DoTM is doing groundwork to increase the fine structure to Rs 3,000 to 5,000 from existing Rs 500 to 1,500,” a MoHA source said. The government is of the opinion that stiffer fine and increased awareness among drivers coupled with proactive law enforcement will act as a deterrent to traffic rule violations.

Earlier in 2016, the government had increased the fines for traffic rule violations to Rs 500 to 1,500 from Rs 250 to 1,000 through an amendment to Section 164 of the Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act, 1993. The MoHA said fine increment also aims to reduce road accidents and bring traffic sense among road users.

Common forms of traffic rule violations are driving under influence, disregard for lane discipline and traffic signals, use of mobile phones while driving, parking vehicles in no-parking zone, seat belt infraction, mechanical modification of bikes, overloading vehicles, overtaking from the wrong side, violating one-way traffic rule and reckless driving. Violation of lane discipline tops the chart of offences and bikers are mostly ignorant about traffic rules.

Meanwhile, traffic police launched a crackdown on three-wheeler tempos carrying passengers beyond their seating capacity in the valley today. The same provision will be applicable for microbuses with effect from May 20, the Ministry of Home Affairs informed.