Cops told to step up crackdown on drink-driving

Kathmandu, November 2

A meeting of high-level officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, security agencies, Department of Roads, Department of Transport Management and transport entrepreneurs has directed traffic and civil police to conduct alcohol breath test on drivers even during daytime.

The meeting presided over by Home Secretary Mohan Krishna Sapkota held at the MoHA on Tuesday decided that traffic and civil police should use alcohol breathalyser on short and long-route drivers along all sections of the highways across the country to ensure that they are not under the influence.

The decision comes in the wake of the October 28 road accident, which was allegedly caused due to drink-driving and negligence of the driver. At least 31 persons died when the bus they were travelling fell into the Trishuli River.

The meeting has also directed the law enforcement agency to carry out rigorous checks on the highways where time card has been implemented and conduct road safety awareness campaign.

“All traffic and civil police units have also been directed to place hotline telephone number or mobile phone number in very public vehicle for the purpose of passengers to report any suspicious activities, and speed and mechanical condition of the vehicle to the nearest police office,” said Narayan Prasad Sharma Duwadi, MoHA spokesperson.

The country recorded an average of 28 road accidents which killed six persons every day in the fiscal 2016-17, according to Nepal Police. Nearly 75 per cent of the accidents are attributed to negligence of drivers.

In 2016-17 driver’s negligence caused 7,487 road accidents followed by 1,392 due to speeding, 288 due to drink driving, 376 due to recklessness of passengers, 213 while overtaking vehicles, 149 because of mechanical failure, 33 overload, 31 stray cattle, 94 poor road condition and 15 bad weather.

Similarly, the meeting has asked all road division offices to upgrade the road, place traffic signs and widen the roads as necessary.