Death in vain

Frequent mishaps give credence to Nepal’s unsafe skies and its network of roads. The death of 42 bus passengers near Bhuntakhola in Triveni VDC of Salyan district on Saturday is a grim reminder of this dastardly truth. The bus was overloaded to the extent that some passengers were perched on the roof and that the bus even made a ‘strange sound’ before skidding off 250 metres into the ravine. All this reflects poorly on the bus operator’s and their employees’ greed at the expense of public safety. But this also raises the question about the responsibility of the government officials manning the highways supposedly to enforce transport and traffic regulations.

The same callousness was witnessed this festive season in the capital itself when passengers were seen crammed precariously on roofs of buses. Rules are, after all, rules. Once the cause of the accident is determined, can the offenders be punished and deterred and the victims and their families given some solace. Accidents can happen in the best of everything, but the adoption of necessary measures and their strict enforcement can go a long way in minimising human casualty. Prompt and stern action against drunk driving, speeding, overtaking, strict check on issuing licences to undeserving applicants, making the two-driver on long routes system obligatory, stressing on the technical soundness of the vehicles, and improving accident-prone bends are some of the measures that can be taken to diminish the rate of avoidable disasters on the road.