Kathmandu, June 15
With a view to creating awareness among the people, mainly the young generation, the government is doing groundwork to incorporate road safety in bachelor and master’s degree curriculum.
According to annual progress report of 2017 recently published by the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the process of developing syllabus on road safety has reached the final stage. The syllabus aims to educate college and university students about how road accidents caused by human errors and negligence can be prevented by ensuring complaiance with traffic rules and regulations.
The government took the initiative to develop the syllabus after experts and educationists stressed the need to make road safety an integral part of college and university curriculum.
The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport said the syllabus would also highlight the risk factor involving violation of traffic rules, road indiscipline, recklessness and speeding, among others.
Road accidents are one of the leading cause of deaths in Nepal. On an average, 1,700 people are killed and thousands injured in road accidents every year. On the heels of a string of accidents, concerns have grown about road safety in the country.
According to police, many accidents go unreported mainly because parties involved settle the matter themselves.
Accidents with minor injury or damage to vehicles are often settled at the accident site before reporting the incident to police.
Despite series of fatalities, the government has not been able to dismantle the transport syndicate and upgrade poor road infrastructure, and enforce traffic rules which many studies show are major causes of road accidents across the country.
According to statistics published by the Ministry of Health in 2015, road accident (7 per cent) is the fourth leading cause of death after infectious diseases and child and maternal mortality (42 per cent), cardiovascular diseases (25 per cent) and cancer (11 per cent) in Nepal.
Similarly, respiratory diseases, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases account for five per cent, two per cent and eight per cent deaths in the country, respectively.
The country witnessed an average of 27 accidents and five deaths every day in road accidents in the fiscal 2015-16, says 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 across the country. At least 1,773 have been killed during nine months of the current fiscal 2016-17 beginning mid-July.
Similarly, as many as 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, 1,786 in 2013-14 and 2,004 in the fiscal 2014-15.
A version of this article appears in print on June 16, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.