Kathmandu, May 19
The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has said the government is likely to make it mandatory for pillion riders to wear a helmet inside Kathmandu valley.
Speaking at a press meeting today, MTPD Chief SSP Basant Kumar Pant said, “We have recommended that the authorities concerned include a provision that makes wearing a helmet mandatory for both the driver and pillion rider in the Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act.”
Pant also said the recommendation made by the MTPD had been incorporated in the amendment bill on Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act, 1992.
Officials at the Department of Transport Management also said that ‘some strict provisions’ had been incorporated in the act.
Director General of DoTM Kumar Prasad Dahal said, “We have included some safety measures for pillion riders in the act itself. “Dahal, however did not make it clear whether the new safety measures were about making helmet mandatory for pillion riders.
The DoTM has sent the amendment bill to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management. Officials of DoTM and Traffic Police said the amendment bill was likely to be tabled in the Parliament soon. SSP Pant also said the government, for the first time, would set ISO standard for helmets in the act. “We have also requested the Nepal Bureau of Standard and Metrology to formulate a standard for helmets.”
Director General of NBoSM Biswo Babu Pudasaini confirmed that they were formulating new standard for helmet safety following the request of the Traffic Police. “We have almost completed the work on setting helmet standard and will make it public as soon as we determine the standard,” Pudasaini said.
Traffic Police record shows that motorbike riders and pillion riders’ deaths make for almost 50 per cent of road accident fatalities. A total of 211 people lost their lives in the past 10 months inside the valley, of them 96 persons (45.49 per cent) were motorbike riders and pillion riders.
A report made public by the MTPD just four months ago shows that a total of 46,349 road accidents were recorded in the last five years inside the valley. Of the total road accidents, two-wheelers were involved in 26,184 accidents, which is approximately 56.49 per cent.
Similarly, a total of 779 people lost lives their lives to road accidents in the last five years inside Kathmandu valley. Of the total number, 260 were motorbike riders or pillion riders.
SSP Indra Prasad Neupane said the government had made helmets compulsory for pillion riders, but the rule was not well received by the public, forcing traffic police to revoke it.
A version of this article appears in print on May 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.