RANGOON — The Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) said they would launch a new enforcement plan to crackdown on drivers who violate traffic laws, starting on Thursday.
Maung Aung, secretary of the YRTA, told The Irrawaddy on Monday that the group would take legal action against traffic violations as part of a plan to curb the city’s traffic jams.
Traffic congestion in Burma’s commercial capital has grown significantly since the government lifted car import restrictions in October 2011. Travel times in the former capital have increased in tandem with the rising number of vehicles on the road.
Maung Aung said those who violate traffic laws will face heavier fines than before—expected to be set at a minimum of 50,000 kyats (US$40) per violation—and that unlawful parking on main roads, which has also increased traffic congestion, will also be addressed.
The traffic police will also use the mobile app Viber to take immediate action against violators by receiving complaints from the public via text message, photo and video.
“We call on the public to collaborate,” said Maung Aung, adding that violations will eventually be monitored from a traffic control center that is currently under construction and expected to be completed in October.
Once the computerized traffic control system is operational, it is expected to reduce 40 percent of city’s traffic congestion and improve security with the installation of 360-degree computer-controlled cameras at certain intersections, he said.
The YRTA was formed on July 8, in collaboration with transportation and water experts, in order to upgrade the public transportation system and to tackle the city’s traffic woes under the leadership of the Rangoon divisional government.
The YRTA will also facilitate bus system reforms to improve public transportation at a later date. Under its plan, the current 358 bus lines will be streamlined into 50.