The government Friday withheld notification of hefty fines on traffic violators, following a day long strike by the transporters.
The Ministry of Communications in a letter asked the National Highways and Motorway Police (NH&MP) to withhold the notification issued on December 11, 2019 for enhancement of fines against traffic rules violation on the Grand Trunk road and the Motorways.
The NH&MP had been requested to implement the former schedule of fines, till further order, a senior officer in the ministry told media, confirming that a formal letter had been forwarded to the departments concerned for the purpose.
The fines, as per the notification issued on December, 11, were increased to curtail the growing number of road accidents in the country.
Responding to the point of order raised by MNA Raja Riaz on the other day, Minister for Communication Murad Saeed informed the National Assembly that implementation on increase of fine on traffic violators on highways and motorways had been put on hold till further orders.
Increased rate of fine on violations was scheduled to be implemented on January, 1, but the decision had been put on hold, he added.
He said decision for revising the fine was taken after consultation with all the stakeholders, adding the rate of fine on violations was increased to ensure the safety of the people instead of generating more revenue.
Murad Saeed, in a statement issued by the ministry, said: “More than 27,500 people were killed in road mishaps in Pakistan during 2016, that was almost three times greater than the number of combined deaths in terrorism (956) and homicide (8516) for the corresponding year,” citing the World Health Organization data.
The government for the first time had formulated the Road Safety Policy to met the targets set under the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN 2030 Global Road Safety Performance.
He said a quick glance at the cross-country comparison for fine rates indicated that Pakistan was amongst the few countries where, the fines for traffic violations were the least even after the revision.
In case of over speeding, he said the amount of fine in Pakistan was Rs. 2500/- whereas it is £1000 (Rs. 202,747) in England, AED 300-3000 (Rs. 12,653 to 126,527) in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Riyal 300-2000 (Rs. 12,391 to 82,604) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Similarly, Murad Saeed said the fine rate for driving without a license in Pakistan was Rs. 5000/- whereas it was £1000 (Rs. 202,747) in England, AED 400-500 (Rs. 16,870 to 21,088) in United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Riyal 150-300 (Rs. 6,195 to 12,391) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Arbab Haider, a resident of sector G-13 was critical of the withholding of the new fines and urged the authorities to implement the decision taken with regard to increase in traffic rules violations.
“Some 36,000 deaths were reported in 2019 alone due to road accidents. Succumbing to transporters pressure will only lead to chaos on the roads,” Arbab said while demanding strict action against traffic violators.