Public ignorant of traffic laws

KATHMANDU: Judging from the chaotic traffic in the capital, either not many people are aware of the traffic rules or they are simply ignoring them.

Amar Shrestha, a taxi driver was found parking his vehicle on a ‘no parking zone’. When asked if he was aware of violating a traffic rule, he bluntly replied, “Parking here for a few minutes is no crime.” Similarly, many taxi drivers feigned ignorance about traffic rules when they were found defying them. Many of them said that they did not know much about traffic rules and punishment that followed their violation.

Similarly, an overwhelming number of public vehicles were seen picking and dropping passengers wherever they wanted besides their regular stops.Many micro buses were found overloading passenger more than its capacity in the Chabahil area. When inquired why they were cramming passengers like tuna in a can, they simply replied that it was a mutual deal. “We want to make as much money as possible in a day while the passengers want to reach their destinations as soon as possible,” said a micro bus driver.

A New Baneshwor resident, in condition of anonymity, shared that he had been riding his two-wheeler without a driving license for the past few months.

When asked if he had any idea about the consequences of his action, he hesitantly said that he would be able to get off the hook if he gave some money as a bribe to the police.

Nonetheless, there are few who are well aware of traffic rules and safety. Prakash Jha, a motorcyclist said, “We should always abide by the traffic rules and should drive carefully to avoid accidents.”

According to Vehicle and Transport Management Act 2049 BS and Regulation 2054 BS clause (45), a person driving a vehicle without a valid license will be penalised a sum of Rs 500 to Rs 15,000. Similarly, anybody driving a vehicle with a fake number plate will be fined from Rs 15,000 to serving a jail term for six months.

Under the sub-clause (2), issuing a vehicle for official purpose and using it for personal use will be penalised from Rs 500 to Rs 15,000. Likewise, under clause (14), driving a vehicle without a blue book, changing the colour texture and the number of seats without prior permission, clause (39), driving a vehicle without route-permit, clause (75), Over-charging passengers, clause (96), harrowing the vehicle and passengers, who met

with an accident clause (129) will be fined from

one thousand to five thousand rupees.

While, opening a work-shop and vehicle examination centre without official approval will be charged from Rs 2000 to Rs 10,000 states clause (159). Similarly, Clause (165) States damaging the belongings and goods of the passengers will cost ten thousand rupees or one year imprisonment or both and should also compensate for the damage. Likewise, deviating or changing the destination and taking the passengers hostage will be subjected to penalty of Rs25,000 or five years jail-term or both and compensate the damages done states the clause (12).