Traffic police office starts online classes for rule violatorsEvery day, around 200 people caught flouting traffic rules take online classes conducted by the division office.
It’s half past noon on Sunday. Inside the premises of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Office in Bagikhana, there are over three dozen people; some sitting on benches, others on the lawn and a few others are standing, taking in the winter sun. Their eyes are fixed on their phone screen as they take part in the hour-long online class conducted for traffic rule violators.
“This is the safest way for us to participate in the class for traffic law flouters. We do not have to take physical classes where the chances of Covid-19 transmission are higher,” said Sanjeev Thakuri, 32, from Kadhaghari who was at the office for violating lane rules.
Meanwhile, a woman who was trying to connect her phone to the wifi said she regretted coming to the office to attend the class.
“I could have taken this class in the comfort of my home,” said the woman in her early 20s, who didn't want to be named. She was caught on New Year's eve for drink driving in Durbarmarg.
The traffic office has recently started cracking down on drink driving and traffic violations in the Valley. Rule violators have been taking mandatory online classes for the past three weeks, according to the newly appointed speaker and Superintendent of Police Shyam Krishna Adhikari.
He said this is the safest way to keep in check traffic law violators during the time of Covid-19. Those caught flouting traffic rules need to pay fines ranging from Rs500 to Rs1,000 at the Global IME bank, download the Microsoft team app via play store and register their name and slip number to participate in the online classes.
“Every day, the division office has been conducting live classes for 200 traffic rule violators in three shifts,” said Adhikari. “Of the total attendees of the classes, 60 percent are lane rule violators, 20 percent are drunk drivers and the remaining 20 percent traffic lights defaulters.”
Adhikari also said that volunteers have been mobilised to help those who are not mobile literate or those who do not have android phones.
“We are planning to place a TV in a room where those who do not have access to android phones can attend classes while maintaining social distance,” said Adhikari. “If people don’t want to do that, they can borrow phones from their family or friends for the classes.”
During the four-month lockdown that started from March 24, over 400 traffic police personnel were infected with Covid-19. With this new measure, officials believe that the rate of virus transmission among traffic personnel will be significantly reduced.
According to the Ministry of Health and Population, Kathmandu Valley recorded 197 new infections in the past 24 hours. Of them, 160 cases were reported in Kathmandu, 26 in Lalitpur and 11 in Bhaktapur.