Kathmandu, June 2
As many as 497 persons, including 129 males, were killed in road accidents in Kathmandu valley over a period of three years and more than 50 per cent of them were youths.
At least 29,258 cases of road accidents were reported during the period. According to three-year statistics released by Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, road accidents claimed the lives of 166 people in the fiscal 2015-16, 182 in 2016-17 and 149 in 2017-18. The age profile of the persons show that those between the ages of 17 and 35 years are more vulnerable to road fatalities.
“The persons between 17 and 35 years of age killed in road accidents over a period of three years account for 258 compared to below 16 years (43 persons) and above 36 years (196),” reveal the statistics. As many as 96 persons between 17 and 35 years of age were killed in 2015-16, followed by 86 in 2016-17 and 80 in 2017-18. Most of the youth victims were bikers and pillion riders.
Of the 29,258 road accidents reported in three fiscals, two-wheelers accounted for the highest share with 10,335, followed by cars/jeeps/van (9,642), trucks/tippers (3,876), buses(3,383), microbuses (1,262) and bicycles/rickshaws (381). Traffic police said the vehicles which are involved in more number of accidents have higher population. Over 1.1 million vehicles, including 700,000 two-wheelers, ply the valley roads daily.
The major causes of road accident are negligence of drivers, speeding, drunk-driving, mechanical glitches, haphazard overtaking, negligence of pedestrians, poor and congested roads, weather and stray animals respectively. SSP Basant Kumar Pant, MPCD acting in-charge, said traffic police were making their best to enhance road safety by strictly enforcing the laws and urging the concerned authorities to prioritise the road engineering.
According to a 2015 report of the World Health Organisation, road accidents are the leading cause of deaths among youths between 15 and 29 years, the latest global report on road safety says. This group constitutes over one-fourth of the total number of persons killed in fatal road crashes across the world. The report also highlights how factors such as suicide, HIV/ AIDS, homicide, lower respiratory infection are claiming far less lives of youths in comparison to the bloodbath on the roads.
A version of this article appears in print on June 03, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.