Drive against jaywalking to expand across Valley

KATHMANDU: The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division announced that jaywalkers throughout the Kathmandu Valley will face the music from next week.

In a bid to decrease road casualties and make pedestrians adhere to road safety culture in the Valley, from May 30, the MTPD has started  to fine Rs 200 to a person who crosses the roads from other places than the zebra-crossings. A jaywalker who could not pay the fine  is detained for three hours and  taught about road safety for half an hour.

While it has come under fire from various quarters for imposing the rule without necessary infrastructures and due preparations, the Division maintained that the campaign aims at minimising road accidents. Every year, about 40 percent of road accidents occur due to jaywalking in the Valley, according to the Division.

However, the law enforcing body, which  has only been carrying out this campaign in limited  places,  is going to impose fines on jaywalkers across the Valley.

"The campaign has been limited to only 30 to 40 places at present for a lack of necessary infrastructure. We will expand it across the Valley until next week," said Deputy Inspector General of Police Mingmar Lama.

He said that concerned authorities are going to build zebra-crossings in places lacking them in coordination with the Kathmandu Metropolitan City and the Department of Roads. "We will launch the drive in other areas thereafter," he said.

Since the drive was launched, a total of 10,861 pedestrians have landed in soup for crossing the road randomly, the Division said. More than 1.3 million was collected in revenue from the total 6,618 commuters who were found to have crossed the road haphazardly.

Likewise, the remaining 4,243 pedestrians who faced punishment on the same charge were made to take an awareness class after failing to afford to pay a fine of Rs 200 each.