Transporters mull strike against rise in fines

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Karachi: The traffic police decision to jack up traffic violation fines has not gone down well with the transporters. The Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) has called a meeting on Wednesday (today) to decide the next line of action against the proposal. The DIG Traffic does not have the powers to raise penalties, said Irshad Hussain Bukhari, the KTI president. “He can just submit his recommendations to the Sindh governor, who in turn can implement it in the form of an ordinance.”

Within six months after the ordinance was issued, an elected provincial assembly can approve it as a bill, Bukhari explained in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“The 500 percent to 1,000 percent increase in penalties against violation of traffic rules is not acceptable to the transporters under any circumstances,” he added. “Besides opting to go on strike, the transporters will also go to courts.”

He claimed due to the wrong policies and lack of interest of the former provincial government, the transport sector was at the edge of destruction. Besides increasing fines for public transporters, the traffic police have also called for raising the penalties on motorcyclists from Rs50 to Rs300 and Rs500 for different violations. Bukhari wondered why the DIG traffic had not talked about the illegal Qingqi rickshaws plying all across the city without any registration, permit or fitness certificates.

“The traffic police accept bribes from these rickshaw drivers and allow them to rule the roads and violate the traffic rules,” he alleged. “Even kids the age of 11 are driving Qingqi rickshaws.”

He appealed to the Sindh governor to take note of the situation and reject the traffic police proposal. “The decision should be left for the next provincial assembly,” he suggested.

The KTI president recalled that in 2009 also, then DIG Traffic Wajid Ali Durrani had issued a notification to increase the fines. It was, however, withdrawn within a day after the transporters lodged a strong protest. But motorists welcomed the decision, saying that it would help check rash driving.

“I fear for my life every time I drive. Hopefully, the decision to increase the amounts of fines will bring some sanity to roads in Karachi,” said a banker, Feroz Shah.

Muhammad Magsi, who drops his six-year-old daughter off at school on his motorcycle, said speeding was a major problem and caused fatal road crashes every now and then. “Big fines will deter people from speeding and jumping the lights,” he said.


Courtesy: The News

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