The Punjab Traffic police kicked off their drive Monday in the provincial capital against those violating traffic rules, particularly the motorcyclists, amid complaints of imposing heavy fines on them, which many think, are beyond their paying capacity.
The prime focus of the traffic wardens remained motorcyclists who were mostly charged for not wearing helmets.
The helmet rule was vigorously enforced on The Mall, where motorcyclists without the safety gear were denied entry by the traffic police and the roads were filled with queues of them.
As per traffic police figures, the wardens imposed heavy fines on 5,315 motorcyclists on the first day of the crackdown, including 1,276 those who tried to enter The Mall without wearing helmet.
More than 40 wardens were especially deployed on various city roads, in addition to regular ones, while at as many as 32 check points were set us.
Officials revealed that the scheme would be replicated on five other major arteries of the city where the motorcyclists without helmets would not be allowed.
The campaign was launched after court directed the traffic police to check traffic violations which are behind countless fatal accidents in the city.
For the purpose, a summary requiring legislation and increase in fine amount had been moved by the traffic police to the inspector general of Punjab police through the Lahore capital city police officer for approval of the provincial assembly.
Lahore Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) retired Capt Liaqat Ali Malik proposed that fine for motorcyclists should be increased from Rs200 to Rs1,000 and for cars and jeeps from Rs500 to Rs2,000.
Another official said the proposed increase in the fine amount caused concern among the citizens, particularly the motorcyclists, who termed it unjustified, and argued that it would further burden them financially as they used the bikes for being an economical mode of travelling.
Meanwhile, a proposal by Lahore DIG Operations Shahzad Akbar “added fuel to fire” as he recommended a fine increase up to Rs2000 for motorcyclists and Rs10,000 for the motorists.
In addition to that, a large number of motorcyclists were also fined through the E-Challan system.
CTO Liaqat Malik defended the proposed fine increase saying it was being done on the court’s directions with the prime objective of curbing fatal accidents.
He said the traffic police kicked off the campaign after creating massive public awareness about the initiative during the last three months.