Lane violations to blame for traffic jams in Valley

Kathmandu, April 6

Traffic police said they had taken action against 168,536 erring drivers for breach of lane discipline in the Kathmandu Valley over a period of two-and-a-half years.

According to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, as many as 37,500 persons were booked for violating lane discipline in the fiscal 2014/15 compared to 48,000 in 2015/16.

Similarly, at least 83,036 — more than double the cases of preceding two fiscals — were issued tickets as of the eight months (mid-July to mid-February) of the current fiscal. Of the erring drivers, around 8,000 were women.

A traffic police official said rampant violation of rules and pro-active measures of the law enforcement agency had resulted in increasing number of violators. MTPD collected approximately Rs 81.5 million in revenue from them. Over 90 per cent of violators of lane discipline were motorcycle riders. A violator of lane discipline is fined not exceeding Rs 500 and made to attend one-hour lecture on road safety.

GoPro cameras, dashboard cameras and CCTVs have assisted traffic cops in catching rule violators. Traffic police have installed dashboard cameras in 50 patrolling vehicles. MTPD said all 34 units in the Valley have been provided with at least one dashboard camera each as part of its efforts to go hi-tech in traffic management.

The effectiveness of GoPro cam, a body-strapped device, is helping wearers initiate evidence-based action against rule violators, MTPD informed. The camera records audio and video data while on-duty cops perform their duties on the road. The footage can be used to ascertain whether a motorist violated traffic rules or not.

The control rooms of Metropolitan Police Office and MTPD have been keeping close surveillance on vehicular movement in as many as 262 places of the Valley through CCTV cameras.

Road dividers were removed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in August 2015, following which, MTPD has focused on maintaining lane discipline. Bikers and motorists are required to follow the white lines painted along the middle of the road.

According to the MTPD, rampant violation of lane discipline was causing an adverse effect on the already deteriorating traffic condition of the Valley. Wilful violation of rules is one of the reasons why the capital city suffers from traffic congestion.