BRIBES EXCEEDED LEGITIMATE TRAFFIC FINES? | Daily News

BRIBES EXCEEDED LEGITIMATE TRAFFIC FINES?

The Ceylon Motorcyclists’ Association alleges that the amount spent by motorists to bribe police officers far exceeds the amount paid for traffic fines.

Speaking to the Daily News, Ceylon Motorcyclists’ Association President Chirantha Amarasinghe said due to the hassle in paying traffic fines, people find it easier to bribe the police officer and leave.

“Sri Lanka is internationally noted as a country where people prefer to bribe rather than take the trouble to go through the process of paying the fine.”

He said as a percentage, when the government receives Rs.500 as a fine, over Rs. 800 goes into the hands of police officers by way of bribes. Amarasinghe said the published government revenue from traffic fines in 2015 was Rs. 2.1 billion, while in 2016 it was Rs. 2.2 billion. “Based on these figures we projected that the amount that would have been paid as bribes could be around Rs. 3.2 billion. In fact, when we requested for the figures from the police, they refuse to give us the relevant information. Due to the police accepting these bribes, it is difficult to maintain proper road discipline and safety. Those who commit road traffic offenses often get away by bribing the police,” he said.

The association also pointed out that a great number of complaints had been received pertaining to impractical laws being implemented during the festive season.

They claim that on average the number of complaints per day is around 10 to 20 but during the New Year and Christmas season the number of complaints shoot up to around 50 to 60.

He said the police don’t allow motorcyclists to have camera’s fixed on their helmets.“If these camera’s are fixed then it is a form of evidence if the rider commits or does not commit an offence. But I don’t understand the basis on which it is not allowed, but the police simply disallow it. Around 70 percent of the vehicles on the roads are motorcycles and three wheelers, adding up to around 4.8 million vehicles in total,” Amarasinghe added.

Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara denied these allegations noting that there was no basis for the estimates arrived at by the Ceylon Motorcyclists’ Association. “Bribing is wrong and as much as it is an offence to accept a bribe, it is also an offence to offer one. Therefore, people who bribe are also at fault. Instead of bribing as a means of escaping an offence, people should complain if a police officer asks for a bribe so that this system could be changed.”

SP Gunasekara told the Daily News that instead of levelling charges based on speculation, the Ceylon Motorcyclists’ Association should gather these complaints and make a complaint at the Bribery Commission. “I would accept their allegations if they have complained and nabbed any police officer who was demanding a bribe,” he said.

Meanwhile, Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) Director General Sarath Jayamanne said the Commission intends to establish special units to monitor and bring to book the bribery cases of the various state institutions in the near future. He said currently there is no provision to separate the numerous cases but added that once the new recruitments are made and the new units established, they will have information on the separate institutions.


 

There is 1 Comment

Simplify the process with the issue of an Infringement Notice on the owner of the vehicle by registered post to pay the penalty within one month followed up with Penalty Reminder Notice.If the fine is not paid employ a professional Traffic Marshal to clamp and impound the vehicle wherever it is parked giving the reason on a large yellow sticker on the windscreen. To recover the vehicle the owner must pay up all costs involved failing to do so the vehicle be confiscated and auctioned.

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