We have a rather interesting way to curtail corruption on the roads. Our Chief Traffic Officer proposes a 10 percent share for the traffic wardens from the revenue collected during the imposition of fines on violators of traffic rules – this will somehow fix the big C. You read that correctly: A share on fine collection to ward off corruption. The leap in logic made here is quite amusing. Our CTO and his supporters – all wardens – are of the view that this share is not already collected – whether it is explicitly stated or not, it does not matter. Apparently our dear CTO is rather oblivious of how this is already taking place all over the capital of Punjab – and aggressively so against poor motorists and auto-rickshaw drivers.
According to an official record, about 900,000 auto-drivers were ticketed in Lahore in 2013. Additionally, it is no coincidence that the majority of these drivers were poor and unable to use other means to slither their way out of a fine. It is terribly convenient to harass the ordinary man who has little connections he can pompously show off the way our rich lot does. One should ask the CTO and his fans in the other department – National Highways and Motorway Police – whether violating traffic rules is innate to the poor man’s psyche or is this just a typically corrupt way to win some bucks on the road?
This proposed policy of commission from fines affect several things simultaneously: It does not, in the least, make driving safer. Secondly, it only encourages wardens to collect maximum commission for no legitimate reason. Lastly, it only proves that our law-enforcing bodies are as dishonest as the people they claim to bring to justice. The word our CTO friend is looking for, let’s be honest here, is good ol’ bribery.