Streetlights being installed to prevent pedestrian casualties

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 8

Traffic police have intensified the measures to prevent or reduce pedestrian deaths after eight persons in Kathmandu valley were killed in road accidents in the past two weeks.

Pedestrians are more vulnerable to road accidents, mainly in the winter when walking at dusk or dawn or at night, due to low visibility and lack of adequate number of overhead bridges. According to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, the roads in valley have become highly unsafe due to rampant violation of traffic rules by pedestrians as well as motorists.

Nearly 40 per cent out of an average 14 persons killed in road accidents every month are pedestrians.

Bearing this in mind, MTPD has installed streetlights in various places of Gwarko, Jawalakhel, Sanepa, Balkhu and Kalanki where pedestrian casualties were reported recently. Superintendent of Police Shyam Krishna Adhikari, MTPD spokesperson, said the streetlights were installed in association with local organisations and clubs. Traffic police have also placed reflective traffic cons in accident prone road sections to control the speed of vehicles.

“Pedestrians are at higher risk of road accidents, especially at night time, for want of street lights, which has led them to crossing the roads haphazardly. The newly installed streetlights will help them find the right place for crossing the road,” he said.

MTPD warned that it would initiate action against motorists, who do not halt their vehicles to allow pedestrians to cross the road using zebra crossing. Drivers involved in road accidents near or on zebra crossings are dealt with seriously.

They may be slapped with imprisonment for up to 10 years depending on the gravity of the case.

Meanwhile, MTPD had brought traffic lights into operation at Singha Durbar, Padmodayamod, New Baneshwor, Putalisadak, Subudhanagar, Gairigaun, Munibhairav, Kamimati, New Thimi, Gaushala, Mitrapark, Putalisadak, Narayan Gopal Chowk, Paropakar, Tankeshwor, Mahapal (Lalitpur), Pulchowk, Harihar Bhawan, Jawalakhel, Tripureshwor, Kamalpokhari and Hadigaun, among others. Most traffic lights work on preset algorithms and timers. Traffic light also helps to reduce road accidents by providing three signals to the drivers.

More than 1.2 million vehicles ply the valley roads on normal days.

‘Pedestrians are at higher risk of road accidents, especially at night, as most of the roads do not have streetlights’