KATHMANDU, July 25: In an 'unprecedented' move to ensure pedestrians' safety and lower fatality rates, the traffic police on Sunday announced to impose fine up to Rs 1000 upon jaywalkers of Kathmandu Valley starting from mid-August.
Under the pedestrian safety campaign launched by the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, Ramshahpath, the office will deploy traffic police and volunteers to make the pedestrians aware about safety measures till mid-August.
"If any pedestrians were found not using zebra crossings or overhead bridges, he or she will be fined between Rs 200 to Rs 1000 and those jaywalkers shall have to compulsorily participate in classes related to road safety," said DSP Sabin Pradhan.
Of 166 people killed in road accidents in the Kathmandu Valley in the fiscal year 2072/73, about 40 percent of them were pedestrians and majority of them were jaywalkers, according to the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division. In an average, 150 people die in the Kathmandu Valley every year due to road accidents while several people sustain physical disability and injures.
"As pedestrians and public/private vehicles both were responsible for road accidents in the Valley, we decided to create awareness and encourage pedestrians to use zebra crossings and vehicles to ensure safety of pedestrians," DSP Pradhan added.
As per the awareness campaign, the pedestrians will be asked to slow down, wait and watch before stepping on the zebra crossing and walk slowly.
Likewise, the vehicles will be also asked to slow down, stop before the zebra crossings and give way for the pedestrians to cross.
Similarly, vehicles would not be allowed to let passengers in or get off board except at bus stops or passengers' waiting shelters. Taxis won't be allowed to wait for passengers at the crossroads and need to stop at least 10 meters away from the main crossroads while the passengers alight.
A project under the Urban Development Ministry is all set to install additional 35 traffic lights in the Valley in few weeks.
The division has also launched SMS service to receive complaints from the public. It has urged to send text messages to the cell number 9851295100 in case anyone is forced to pay more than the fixed fare, is threatened by the drivers or taxis are not ready to use meter.
The traffic police also said that they would make surprise patrols at various locations where there are many pedestrians to check if pedestrians or vehicles violate the rules.