ISLAMABAD, Jan 02 (APP):The National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) on Thursday said the incumbent government had revised fine rates on traffic violations to reduce the number of road crashes and save more than 6,000 lives lost therein
in order to meet its commitment to Sustainable Development Goals and the UN 2030 Global Road Safety Performance Targets.

The NHMP focal person, in a statement, said according to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates in 2016, more than 27,500 people were killed, and an estimated 500,000 were treated in hospitals/health units because of road traffic crashes in Pakistan.

“This is almost three times greater than the number of combined deaths in terrorism (956) and homicide (8,516) for the corresponding year,” he said, adding the road traffic crashes were the number one cause of death among those aged 15-29 years.

The economic cost of road traffic crashes in middle-income countries, he said, was estimated to be as high as 5% of gross domestic product (GDP). Pakistan’s GDP was projected to increase to $360 billion in 2020 and if that projection was correct, based on a conservative cost of 3% of GDP, road traffic crashes could cost the national economy about $ 11 billion in 2020, he added.

The focal person said a quick glance at the cross-country comparison for fine rates indicated that Pakistan was among the few countries where, despite revision after nineteen years, fines for traffic violations were the least.

In case of over speeding, he said, the amount of fine in Pakistan was Rs 2,500/- whereas it was Β£1000 (Rs 202,747) in England, AED 300-3000 (Rs 12,653 to 126,527) in the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Riyal 300-2000 (Rs 12,391 to 82,604) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Similarly, he said, the fine rate for driving without a license in Pakistan was Rs 5,000 whereas it was Β£1000 (Rs 202,747) in England, AED 400-500 (Rs 16,870 to 21,088) in the UAE, and Saudi Riyal 150-300 (Rs 6,195 to 12,391) in Saudi Arabia.

He said the earlier fine rates were framed in 2000, at the time of promulgation of National Highway Safety Ordinance. The objective of that revision was to promote a culture of responsible driving and maximize safety of commuters on national road network, he said.

He said one of the major indicators for sustainable development was responsible and compliant road behaviour of drivers, which was ensured through strict enforcement.