Govt mulls tougher measures

Published On: August 30, 2016 02:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 30: The government is preparing to introduce sweeping measures against drivers and owners to discourage overloading of passenger vehicles.

Following a string of deadly road accidents this month, the government is planning to amend the existing laws to introduce "stringent regulation" to control road traffic accidents.

Minister for Physical Planning and Works Ramesh Lekhak had instructed the department to prepare a list of provisions that should be amended to ensure road safety. Speaking at the parliament meeting on Sunday, Lekhak had also said that the amendments to the act will include stringent measures such as revoking the driver's license and the route permit of vehicles if found plying without acquiring the route permit.

The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has prepared a list incorporating the areas to amend existing Transport Management act and regulation, shared spokesperson of the department Baburam Adhikari.

"The department has concluded that the government should increase amount of fines in the case of breach in traffic rules," he said. Keeping the growing number of traffic rules violations in mind, the department has proposed to increase the amount of fines for flouting traffic rules by up to 400 percent based on the nature of the rule break.

It is necessary to increase the fine amount to discourage drivers in flouting the traffic rules, Adhikari said, adding that the existing fine amount was fixed more than 20 years while formulating Transport Management Act 2004, which does not match in today's context.

The department will soon decide on the new regulations he said, adding that the government will amend the regulation soon. However, Act regulation process may take longer time as it has to follow the parliamentarian process.

The department has requested the government to allow it to add three main provisions in the regulation to reduce the accidents caused by drivers' negligence and owners' apathy.

The drivers' license will be suspended for up to six months if vehicles are found carrying passenger more than its capacity, or plying without receiving a route permit, or collecting fare abruptly after the new regulation comes into effect, he further informed.

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