245 accidents claiming 35 lives were recorded from June 2 to June 8 this year
Kathmandu, June 11
Authorities have recently directed their attention to troubling numbers of road accidents in Nepal every year. Despite several road safety campaigns and purported strict enforcement of traffic rules, the number of road accidents in Nepal remains unchanged.
Nepal Police released a week-long nationwide figure (from June 2 to June 8) that shows that the country has recorded as many as 245 accidents involving 404 vehicles, that claimed 35 lives and injured 287 others, 105 critically.
Police said that 35.66 per cent of total road accidents were motorcycle related, 30.20 per cent car and van related accidents, 12.38 per cent tanker and truck related,11.63 per cent bus related, 5.45 per cent manually driven vehicles such as carts and bicycles related, 3.22 per cent tractor related, and 1.24 per cent were tempo and three wheeler related.
Speeding, haphazard overtaking, drunk driving, carrying passengers exceeding vehicular capacity, carelessness on the part of passengers and pedestrians, and technical breakdowns have been attributed to be the main causes of these accidents.
Police said that roughly 2,000 people lose their lives in road accidents across the country annually. A total of 1,356 people were killed in road accidents in the fiscal 2008/09, 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 2014/15. This fiscal, nearly 1,600 fatalities have been recorded so far.
Concerned road and traffic management agencies have adopted several measures to ensure road safety, but with limited success.
Road accidents can also be attributed to poor road conditions and lack of awareness of traffic rules among others. The Department of Roads stated that the road density in Nepal is considered to be the lowest among South Asian countries.
Of the total 12,493 km of roads, 51 per cent are paved, 36 per cent are earthen, and 13 per cent gravelled.
A version of this article appears in print on June 12, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.