Kathmandu, August 17
The country witnessed an average of 27 accidents and five deaths every day in road accidents in the fiscal 2015/16, shows a recent report.
According to records maintained by Nepal Police, a total of 2,006 people were killed and 13,048 injured, 4,882 critically, in 10,013 reported road accidents. The data show the rising trend of road accidents and fatalities in the country.
“As many as 2,006 people died in road accidents in 2015/16 against 2,004 in the fiscal 2014/15. Though road fatalities remain relatively unchanged, the government and concerned agencies have failed to curb accidents,” said a senior official at Nepal Police Headquarters.
A total of 1,356 people were killed in road accidents in the fiscal 2008/09, followed by 1,734 in 2009/10, 1,689 in 2010/11, 1,837 in 2011/12, 1,816 in 2012/13 and 1,786 in 2013/14.
Central region topped the chart with 691 deaths, while western region recorded 520, eastern region 446, mid-western region 228 and far western 121 deaths in 2015/16. Similarly, 166 were killed in the Kathmandu Valley.
Over 130 road fatalities were reported in the first one-and-a-half months of the current fiscal 2016/17. At least 42 persons were killed when a bus they were travelling in met with an accident in Kavre on Monday.
On an average, 1,800 persons die in road accidents across the country every year.According to police, many accidents go unreported mainly because the parties involved settle the matter themselves.
Accidents with minor injury or damage to vehicles are often settled at the accident site and are not reported to police. Only accidents causing human injury are reported.
Most of the accidents are attributed to negligence of drivers.
In the last fiscal, driver’s negligence caused 7,432 road accidents followed by 1,273 due to speeding, 321 due to drink driving, 321 due to recklessness of passengers, and 226 while overtaking vehicles.
Similarly, 245 accidents took place due to mechanical breakdown, 53 due to overload, 34 due to sorry condition of the roads, 34 due to stray animals and 14 due to bad weather.
Poor visibility at blind corners, inadequate safety barriers, unscientific location of passing bays, random roadside parking, poor condition of roads, lack of awareness of traffic rules, poor road engineering, among others, are also equally responsible for accidents, said police.
Overcrowded vehicles face police action
Kathmandu: Traffic police on Wednesday took action against seven public vehicles in Kathmandu for carrying passengers beyond capacity.
Spokesperson for the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division Lokendra Malla said seven vehicles were taken under control in the Kathmandu Valley and referred to the Department of Transport for action.
Meanwhile, Spokesperson at Department of Transport Management Basant Adhikari shared that although the department had been monitoring vehicles across the country, shortage of manpower had been hampering its efforts.
“The department does not have its branches in the districts,” said Adhikari. In the Kathmandu Valley, microbus and three-wheelers are barred from carrying passengers beyond seating capacity.
Traffic police is also responsible for taking action against vehicles operating without route permit.
Meanwhile, student unions affiliated to Maoist parties on Wednesday staged a demonstration in front of Department of Transport demanding an end to syndicate system in public transport.
A version of this article appears in print on August 18, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.