Motorcylists Face Tough New Traffic Rules in Hakha
21 December 2010: Motorcycle Traffic Officers are stepping up efforts to monitor and introducing new rules for motorcyclists in attempts to curb an increasing number of accidents and to improve road safety in Hakha, the capital of Chin State.
The new move was put in place days after a recent motorbike crash that claimed the life of Pu Biak Hnin in the middle of the main road in Hakha on 14 December 2010.
The Traffic Officers have since been carrying out random checks on motorcyclists to see if they are holding valid licenses, wearing safety helmets, and following the road regulations.
A motorcyclist with no valid license is fined between 3,000 and 5,000 Kyats while riding a bike with no helmet costs 3,000 Kyats for a single rider and 6,000 Kyats for two riders.
“The new rules are getting really strict, which is good for all of us – the bikers and the public. We could also be stopped and penalised if we don’t tie up properly even if we do wear helmets. And we would also be charged about 3,000 Kyats if we don’t follow the parking rules on the streets and if we don’t make a turn in a proper way,” said one of the local motorcyclists in Hakha.
“Last Sunday, the Traffic Officers were stopping and arresting dozens of local motorcyclists. When they were being stopped, some cyclists tried to escape, running on a rampage. Some of them were caught and put to jail while others were beaten up and pummelled,” said another local from Hakha.
One of the community leaders said the reasons why new rules and regulations are being tightened are due to our recklessness and lack of discipline which has made the public feel insecure and uncomfortable in the town, adding: “We should learn lessons from all these fines and penalties imposed upon us so that we can improve our community and society.”
It is said that the year 2010 has seen an increasing number of casualties caused by motorbikes compared to the previous few years.
It is estimated that there are more than 1,000 motorcycles owned and used as the main transport means by the locals in Hakha Town, with an estimated population of 30,000 of more than 10,000 households.
Van Biak Thang