Police want stiff jaywalking fines to ease traffic
Thursday, 03 July 2008

Police are proposing hiking fines for jaywalking by 4,000 percent in a bid to ease the gridlock that cripples the capital Dhaka every day, home ministry officials said on Tuesday, reports agency.

The proposal, which officials said was likely to be approved by the government, calls for fines to be increased to 200 taka ($2.92) from five taka for a single jaywalking offence.

Dhaka, a city of about 11 million people, struggles with huge traffic jams.

The city has at least 50,000 vehicles and more than 400,000 rickshaws cramming its streets, as well as millions of pedestrians who largely avoid foot bridges and crossings, preferring to weave through traffic instead.

"Now police have proposed to raise the fine to 200 taka from existing five taka, which was imposed decades ago but seldom used," a ministry official said.

Police officials said they would use volunteers to boost their surveillance of the streets, and would fine jaywalkers on the spot.

Those unable, or unwilling, to pay will be taken to the nearest police station, an official said.

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