Hello, I hope some of you remember me 🙂
I have an interesting tale to tell from the Kathmandu city. Since our permanent move here six months back, there have been many instances worth attention, some good and some bad. Today I am going share an insiders story on Kathmandu traffic police.
My husband has not got a chance to apply(re-apply) for his drivers license. His license got expired 8 years back(sadly) and he still drives around in a car or a bike with the expired license around the K city(which we both are not proud of). We have been stopped at various check points by the hardworking K town traffic police officers to inquire the whereabouts of his documents usually a drivers license and the vehicle’s blue book. The drunk driving rule is pretty strict as well. So the traffic police usually stop motor bikes and private cars in the evening to check if someone is drunk-driving. The usual conversation that I have noticed between the driver and the traffic police goes like this
Traffic: License ra Blue book cha?(Do you have license and Blue book with you?)
Driver: Cha hajur. (Yes Sir)
Traffic(trying to sniff the drivers’ breath): Ma Pa Se ta garnu bha chaina?(You aren’t drinking and driving, are you?)
Driver: Chaina Hajur.(No Sir)
Traffic: La janus tesobhaye.(You are free to go now)
I have seldom seen them using the breathalyzer to test if the driver’s been drinking and I heard its because there aren’t enough for every traffic in the city.
Few days back we were returning home at around 9.30pm from a dinner party at my sisters’ house. We were on a bike, my husband had carried the expired license but he wasn’t drinking. As usual, we were stopped by the traffic police. So his first question was whether my husband had carried license and blue book. My husband, confident that he hadn’t drank a drop of alcohol, said yes of course! Then the next question was the unlikely one. Can you show it to me? At this point we were both nervous as we knew the license had expired 8 years back!!
To this, my husband timidly asked me to fetch for his purse in my handbag. Then he gave his expired drivers’ license to the traffic. The traffic police was young and looked honest. He examined it and asked us,”Please tell me what is wrong in your license?” My husband nervously replied to this saying,”Sir, actually it has expired!”. And the rest of the conversation went something like this
Traffic: Yes, you are right. It has expired 8 years back!!
Hubby: Sorry sir, I was living abroad and returned just a few months back.
Traffic: Do you realize that you cannot renew your license after 6 years of expiry? Now that yours has expired 8 years back and with all the new driving rules since then you are remotely qualified to drive this motorbike…
Hubby: I realize this sir, but I assure you if I was posing any kind of danger I wouldn’t be riding around with my wife as a passenger.
Traffic: Hmm, do you have the Blue book with you?
He didn’t have the blue book with him.
Hubby: Sorry sir, its an old bike that I borrowed from my Dad so I’m not sure where the blue book is.
Traffic(Rolling his eyes): Now sir, you don’t look like someone who would be riding around without a license and a blue book.
Hubby:I’m sorry sir.
Traffic: Now how do I penalize you? If I take your license, its of no use. You don’t have a blue book so no question of taking that and issuing a ticket. The only option is to seize this bike from you. Long pause. But I don’t want to do that also since many think that traffic police is here only to trouble citizens.
Hubby: I am ready to pay the fine I’m entitled to pay sir.
Traffic: On what basis do I fine you? I can only seize your bike and how will you go back home at this hour if I do that? Long pause again. Ok from next time, do not drive until you get a new license.
Traffic: And what will you say if the traffic ahead stops you.
Hubby(Nervous smile): Same thing sir.
Traffic: No wait, I will give you a note with my name and phone number in it. If the traffic ahead stops you, tell him that I took your blue book since your license is expired.
Saying this the traffic wrote down a lengthy note where he mentioned that he had seized the blue book and fined my hubby and give it to my husband. We both apologized to the traffic again and went ahead.
This is one of the inside snippets of the K city tales. I leave it to you to judge the situation. Was it right for us to drive even though our license had expired? Was the traffic police kind or what he did was against the rules? I leave it up to you all to ponder upon 🙂