‘No free riders, please’

KARACHI:

With fleets of new busses hitting the roads, the Sindh government introduced a set of laws to keep free riders away and to discourage littering in the swanky new air-conditioned vehicles.

On Friday, the Sindh Assembly passed “The Sindh Mass Transit Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023,” making it compulsory for passengers to obtain tickets when traveling on mass transit vehicles. The bill also imposed revised fines for various traffic violations.

Under the amendment to the Provincial Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965, a fine of Rs500 will be imposed on individuals traveling in public buses without a ticket. Driving a motorbike without a driving license on the road will attract a Rs10,000 fine, while fines for driving cars/jeeps, light vehicles, and heavy vehicles without licenses range from Rs1,500 to Rs2,500. Not stopping vehicles on the order of traffic police will result in fines ranging from Rs400 to Rs2,000.

The law also prohibits smoking in all vehicles, with fines ranging from Rs1,200 to Rs2,500 for violations. Juvenile driving without a proper license will incur fines of Rs1,500 for motorcycles and Rs2,000 for cars/jeeps, light vehicles, and Rs4,000 for heavy vehicles.

Driving Qingqi (CHINGCHI) Rickshaws on unauthorized roads will lead to a Rs2,000 fine and imprisonment of up to ten days. A fine of Rs10,000 will be imposed on those installing CNG in violation of rules without an HDIP certificate.

The bill addresses various offenses related to BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) vehicles and stations, with fines of Rs1,000 for consuming, spitting, or throwing tobacco or similar substances. The fine increases to Rs2,500 for consuming drugs or being intoxicated in a BRT vehicle or facility. Bringing pets or other animals on BRT vehicles or stations, except for approved guide, hearing, or assistance animals, will result in a fine of Rs2,500. In other Assembly business, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani expressed displeasure at the continuous absence of ministers to answer lawmakers’ queries. The warning was issued to ministers and parliamentary secretaries who were not fulfilling their responsibilities.

During the Question Hour, no questions pertaining to the Energy department were taken up due to the absence of members who had submitted their written questions.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th2023.


#free #riders

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