Road accident kills 3 every day

KATHMANDU: The Home Ministry has made an astonishing disclosure that on average three persons are being killed every day in road accidents across the country.

If the lastest statistics chronicling the road accidents by the ministry is anything to go by, road accidents alone has killed at least 3,640 people in the last three years. Of the 25,895 injured in the same period, at least 8,855 of them have developed lifelong disability with severe consequences for their family members.

The first motor vehicle entered the Kathmandu Valley in 1942 on human shoulders. Sixty-seven years down the road, the country has over 850,000 registered motorised vehicles. The data suggest that the road accidents have not subsided, instead, they are increasing by leaps and bounds, despite massive awareness programmes. Travelers and pedestrians continue to become hapless victims of road hogs.

Unveiling the 2008-2009 data,Traffic Directorate, Nepal Police Headquarters, today said the number of people who lost their lives in the road accidents totalled 1,556, an increase by 425 in the preceding year. The toll in 2006-2007 was 953.

Western Development Region has been the epicentre of the carnage with 396 deaths in 2008-2009. Kathmandu Valley paints the grimmest picture with 132 deaths in the last fiscal, up from 120 (2007) and 93 (2006).

Among the perpetrators, the two-wheelers (motorbike) far exceed three and four wheelers.

On a nationwide scale, there are 7,731 cases of traffic mishaps caused by two-wheelers in the last three years. A majority of those mishaps have occurred on the highways and has largely been attributed to the reckless driving, over-speed, overtaking and overcrowding of vehicles.

Public busses accounted for a large number of those mishaps on the highway as they ferried exceesive number of passengers. The busses either collided, skided or veered off the road. This has been caused by inexperienced and 'hot-blooded' drivers in their typical 20 to 35 years of age, informed DSP Bikash Shrestha, Valley Operation in-charge, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division.

The report also made a startling revelation that most accidents have occurred in the Valley, which has become a nightmare for hapless commuters in recent times. The Far-Western region recorded the lowest ever traffic mishaps with only 82 deaths in 2008/2009, the report said.

Time is running out for a police-public partnership to reduce the accidents, DSP Shrestha said.

The points of intersection, blind curves and bridge approaches are cited as the most vulnerable spots for the motorists and pedestrians alike.