ISLAMABAD: Embracing the idea of Punjab government to impose heavy traffic fines, the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) want to follow the same path by spiking the fine amount by 900 percent, tightening the noose around the motorists , who dare to flout traffic rules.
Talking to APP, Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Furukh Rashid said the idea to increase the fine amount had been proposed to the quarters concerned, with the request to enhance the maximum penalty to Rs 5,000 to rein in the motorists who blatantly and deliberately break the law.
The Interior Ministry had asked for comments on the summary received from the police, seeking a comparison of fines in Punjab and Islamabad, he added.
“In order to enforce rule of law on the roads of federal capital, there is dire need to revise the traffic penalties for the violators. Increase in traffic challans is the only feasible choice at this stage,” he said.
Terming the current amount of fine on traffic violations inadequate, he said, the current level of fines did not bring changes in behaviour of violators despite massive campaigns in the past to make motorists aware how important it is for them to respect rules that help protect lives.
Currently, ITP could impose fine of only Rs 100 and 300 on those who do not wear helmets and seat belts while driving. While Rs 500 were charged for violation of red signal and use of mobile phone during drive. If proposed challan rates were approved, then traffic police could impose a minimum ticket of Rs 1,000 on the unruly road users.
A traffic warden stationed near Zero Point said, the increased challans would help curtail road mishaps.
Stern actions are need of hour as some bikers did not use helmets deliberately due to low fines.
"We have employed different methods ranging from marathon awareness campaigns to seminars in order to sensitize the road users about traffic rules but it seemed to be all in vain as number of deaths was surging with each passing day as road users do not take the traffic rules seriously.
Appreciating the move of ITP, he said it would help increase the revenue of department as present resources of ITP was undermining its efficiency.
Highlighting the ITP's limited resources, the official said, “the department does not even have a crane to remove a damaged vehicle from the road speedily to clear way for other road users.
"We are forced to use outdated fork lifters for the purpose," he regretted.
He said 36 patrolling cars, 70 bikes and six obsolete lifters was the entire support available to cover over 906 square kilometer area of Islamabad territory.
A motorist Shahzaib Haider termed the increase in fines a step in the right direction and hoped it would bring real change on roads of the Capital. He alleged that most of accidents occurred due to rash acts of bikers.
However, another bike rider Sultan Ali expressed his resentment over the proposed idea and said a bike user could not pay Rs 1,000 for a minor violation.
He urged the authorities concerned to exempt the bikers from such heavy penalties keeping in mind the factor of affordability.