In today’s Jordan Times:
AMMAN (Petra) Ã¢â‚¬â€ The Public Security Department (PSD) announced on Tuesday that PSD environment and traffic officers issued a total of 1,409 tickets for smoking while driving and in public places where smoking is banned, the first quarter of 2007. Last year, 6,645 tickets were issued for these violations, while in 2005, the number was 714. According to environmental police unit director, Colonel Abdullah Abdullat, during the past eight months, the unit issued 2,546 tickets for violations committed in public parks, roads, factories and forests. Abdullat added that environmental laws and regulations seek to ban smoking in these areas to reduce smoking, avoid its negative impacts on citizens and prevent traffic accidents and fires.
First of all, I’m positive that between my friends and I (which definitely total less than the number of enviro-cops) we could issue over 3,000 tickets in a single week let alone eight months!
Second of all, why does the government think that the only way to solve a public problem is to fine people. If we’ve learned anything from the Jordanian spirit it’s that if you fine us we will be more inclined to do it.
No campaigns, no education, no raising awareness…
None of this is related to a consistent policy. When money needs to be raised or a command is given from the powers-that-be, suddenly all these officers go on a ticket-jihad to fill their monthly quota. Efficiency in these institutions, including the environmental police, is based on that simple mantra: we increase efficiency by increasing the quota, because after all, the two must be directly related.
One traffic accident happens every 5 minutes.
One person dies in a traffic accident every 10 hours.
One person under the age of 18 dies in a traffic accident every 35 hours.
One person is injured every 29 minutes.
I’m not so sure that just fining people has worked so well.