Nepal | July 06, 2020

Traffic cops to fine jaywalkers from mid-May

Himalayan News Service
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Pedestrians using a zebra crossing to cross a road in New Baneshwor, Kathmandu, on Friday, April 28, 2017. Photo: RSS

Kathmandu, April 28

Metropolitan Traffic Police Division today launched ‘Pedestrian Safety Campaign’ to reduce road casualties and encourage pedestrians to use zebra crossings, sidewalks and overhead bridges where available.

Acting Police Commissioner DIG Bam Bahadur Bhandari inaugurated the campaign amid a function organised in the Metropolitan Police Office. According to MTPD, pedestrians accounted for 41 per cent of deaths from the fiscal 2013/14 to 2016/17 in Kathmandu Valley, prompting it to take an urgent action to raise public awareness about road safety.

DIG Mingmar Lama, MTPD in-charge, said over 1,500 volunteers were mobilised across the Valley to educate pedestrians and encourage them to abide by traffic rules. He warned that pedestrians would also be liable to punishment if they were caught jaywalking.

“We will fine the jaywalkers Rs 200 each from mid-May as per the Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act, 1993. If they don’t have money to pay the amount, on-duty traffic cops will briefly detain and free them after making them attend a class about road safety,” he informed.

According to the MTPD, the roads in the Valley have become highly unsafe and vulnerable to accidents due to rampant violation of traffic rules on the part of both the pedestrians and motorists.

Traffic police said they would also initiate action against motorists, who do not give priority to pedestrians using zebra crossings. The Valley has over 1,000 zebra crossings and some of them are under the surveillance of CCTV cameras as well. Despite the awareness programme, many of the zebra crossing marks have faded. Similarly, encroachment of footpaths is rampant and pedestrians are forced to use the roads. This clearly shows that the roads are not pedestrian-friendly.

Although walking is still the major mode of travel in the Valley, it has significantly declined from 53.1 per cent in 1991 to 40.7 per cent in 2012, a study by the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport shows.

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A version of this article appears in print on April 29, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.


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