Kathmandu, June 28
Traffic police have booked as many as 1,229 motorists for breaching the speed limits enforced by the government on the eight-lane Kalanki-Koteshwor road section.
Though Metropolitan Traffic Police Division announced the new rule on the 10.5km stretch of the road in the last week of May as prior notification to the motorists, it started implementing the speed limit with effect from June 3. The MTPD said it had initiated action against 1,229 rule violators as of yesterday. Maximum speed limit allowed along the stretch is 50km per hour.
Traffic cops armed with laser speed guns have been deployed along the road to check over-speeding and catch the offenders. The equipment can measure the speed of a vehicle from distance of 300 metres. It also takes still and video images of the vehicle in question. Each traffic rule violator is slapped with a fine of Rs 500.
MTPD said it was using three speed guns along the road stretch which is vulnerable to road accidents due to speeding. Most of the victims are pedestrians. It is accident prone due to lack of road dividers, sidewalk fence and other road safety measures.
The Department of Roads, in association with MTPD, had recently conducted a safety audit of the stretch of the road before the enforcement of the speed limits as accidents surged along the newly-widened segment of the Ring Road. According to MTPD, 15 people were killed and over 229 were injured along the road stretch over the period of seven months until the enforcement of the rule, in line with the Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act. No fatality has been reported since.
According to statistics provided by the Department of Transport Management, the country has over 3.2 million vehicles and of them, about 1.1 million are based in the Kathmandu valley. Drunk driving, speeding, overtaking from the wrong side and violating lane discipline are some of the major reasons for road accidents. Poor condition of roads and lack of appropriate road infrastructure have also raised the frequency of road accidents and fatalities in the valley.
According to MTPD, as many as 219 persons were killed in 6,381 accidents in 2017-18, compared to 182 fatalities in 5,530 accidents in the previous fiscal. Total 228 deaths due to road accidents have been reported over a period of 11 months of the current fiscal.
A version of this article appears in print on June 29, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.