Unlicensed driving, the leading traffic offence in the country is expected to increase by nine per cent by the end of next year. According to the Bhutan Construction and Transport Authority, with the existing interventions, the problem is unlikely to be solved. An internal study by the authority reported that more than 20,000 people were fined for unlicensed driving in a decade, from 2012 to 2021.
Besides the fine of Nu 1,750 for unlicensed driving, existing regulations do not have increased fines and penalties for repeat offenders.
According to the study, the offence of unlicensed driving was repeated up to 11 times by at least one per cent of the offenders.
The study on Enhancing Road Safety in the country states that minimal fines and penalties encourage people to repeat the offence.
The study, therefore, recommends the introduction of effective and evidence-based interventions to address the problem. It also recommends extensive advocacies and enforcement.
Other major traffic violations include drink-driving, use of cell phones while driving, and speeding.
More than 17,000 drivers were fined for drink-driving, more than 16,000 for using cell phones, and nearly 11,000 for speeding in the last ten years.
The study also looked at the trend of region-wise traffic violations to understand the major issues of each region. Appropriate advocacy and intervention will be carried out in each region.
Officials from the transport authority said the study was conducted to look into evidence-based interventions to address the rising motor vehicle accidents.