Traffic cops to treat hit-and-run cases more seriously

Kathmandu, June 1

An average of 14 road accidents occur in Kathmandu valley every day and at least one of them account for a hit-and-run case, says Metropolitan Traffic Police Division.

SSP Basant Kumar Pant, MTPD acting in-charge, said hit-and-run crashes were on the rise with the three-yearly data indicating that the law enforcement agency needed to act more seriously in this regard.

Some hit-and-run cases are fatal while others leave the victims injured or damage their property, especially two-wheelers and light vehicles. Tippers, trucks, private cars, microbuses, taxis and motorcycles are behind most of the hit-and-run cases.

“Traffic cops try their best to arrest the drivers involved in hit-and-run incidents on the spot as soon as possible, but sometimes in vain. Of late, we are watching the traffic movement through CCTVs and surveillance vehicles to ensure that any such vehicle doesn’t flee the accident scene. We treat the cases and guilty of hit-and-run more seriously,” SSP Pant said.

On May 23, three persons, including a woman and her son, died after the scooter they were riding was hit by a tipper in Palanse of Suryabinayak Municipality-9, Bhaktapur. The tipper driver fled the scene. Police arrested Sanjeev Suchikar, 30, of Dhading, the driver, the next day.

Approximately 95 per cent of victims of fatal hit-and-run crashes are bikers and pedestrians.

According to a figure released by MTPD, it registered 338 hit-and-run cases in the fiscal 2015-16, 612 in 2016-17 and 522 in 2017-18.  “Out of the 522 cases in 2017-18, 290 were settled by reconciling the drivers and victims. These cases were related to damage to vehicles or minor injuries. The investigation into 132 cases is under way,” he informed.

SSP Panta claimed that traffic police were concerned about the effects of hit-and-run cases on the victims and their families who are sometimes forced to pay the medical bills when the guilty run away.

When there is a road accident and the driver flees the scene without providing assistance to the victims or contacting the police, it is considered as a hit-and-run case. Speeding, reckless driving, jaywalking and haphazard overtaking, among others, are the leading causes of road accidents.