All Pakistan Transport Owners Federation to observe strike over ‘heavy’ increase in fines

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All Pakistan Transport Owners Federation observe a country-wide strike today
All Pakistan Transport Owners Federation (APTOF) will observe a country-wide strike today against the heavy increase in fines by the government.

Last year in November, the Federal Cabinet had given approval for a massive increase in fines on highways and motorways.

The fine which was Rs750 across the board for every violation will now be Rs1,500 for speeding for motorbikes, Rs2,500 for cars, Rs5,000 for trucks and Rs10,000 for public service vehicles, according to a report.

Speaking to media APTOF Chairman Azam Khan Niazi said the strike would continue until the notification related to the increase is withdrawn.

“Transporters have decided to protest across country from Karachi to Peshawar,” he said.

“The heavy fine of Rs10,000 is unacceptable,” he said. “After failure of talks with the government the alliance decided to go on strike.”

Other fines include Rs1,500 for overtaking for both the motorcycle and car drivers. While those car drivers and motorcyclists who are found taking a wrong U-turn will pay Rs1,000, while heavy vehicles will pay a fine of Rs3,000.

For traffic violation involving dangerous driving, a fine of Rs1,500 will be charged from all commuters.

Earlier, while speaking to media, Deputy Inspector General Operations and Evaluation, National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP), Jan Muhammad had claimed that studies had shown that an increase in penalties resulted in safer roads.

“The Rs750 fine had lost its effectiveness. The number of traffic rule violations was very high in Pakistan as compared to countries where the fines are high.”

“Since January 2019, 785,000 motorists were fined for speeding on highways and motorways, 1100,000 motorcyclists got fined for not wearing a helmet, and 100,000 motorists penalised for using high beam. For using a mobile phone, 200,000 people were fined while 400,000 got tickets for not wearing seatbelts,” he shared.

In the last three years, he said that there were 1,700 accidents on national highways and motorways. “As a result of those, we had about 1,200 deaths and 4,000 injuries.

This is a big number. New National Road Safety Strategy Goals aim 50 per cent reduction in this number by 2030, which is also one of the Sustainable Development Goals.”