KATHMANDU: Road accidents have surged with vehicle sales going up across the country. A total of 2,789 people lost their lives to road accidents occurred throughout the country in fiscal year 2018/19. Thirteen thousand three hundred sixty-six vehicles were involved in accidents during the one year period.
Similarly, 4,376 people sustained serious injuries and 10,360 sustained minor injuries in the accidents.
Police spokesperson, Deputy Inspector General Bishworaj Pokharel said the number of people killed in road accidents has increased in Fiscal Year 2018/19 as compared to the Fiscal Year 2017/18.
According to him, 2,318 people were killed in 9,989 road accidents in Fiscal Year 2017/18 whereas more people were killed in Fiscal Year 2016/17. Two thousand three hundred and eighty-four persons were killed in 10,178 road accidents in Fiscal Year 2016/17.
Bad condition of roads, reckless driving, passengers’ and pedestrians’ negligence, overtaking from the wrong direction, over-speeding, drunk driving, mechanical fault and overload are the major causes of the road accidents, DIG Pokharel said. The Police Headquarters stated that motorcycle, trucks, tipper, jeep, car, tractor and auto-rickshaw are mostly involved in accidents.
Accidents increase in Kathmandu valley as well
Road accidents have been found increasing every year in Kathmandu Valley also. Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) stated that fatalities from road accidents have increased in the Valley in Fiscal Year 2018/19 in comparison to the Fiscal Year 2017/18.
One hundred and ninety-four people were killed in road accidents in the Valley in Fiscal Year 2016/17 and the death toll from the road accidents increased to 254 in Fiscal Year 2017/18. One hundred and eighty-two people were killed in road accidents in Kathmandu valley in Fiscal Year 2015/16.
MTPD chief, Senior Superintendent of Police Basanta Kumar Panta said the number of road accidents has increased in the Kathmandu Valley because of wider roads, lack of physical infrastructure and over-speeding. “The drivers lack traffic rules and this is also one reason for the increase in the number of road accidents in Kathmandu Valley,” he said.
He added that MTPD has been conducting various public awareness classes, campaigns and taking measures to check over speeding and installing road dividers from time to time in a bid to reduce the road accidents.
Why accidents occur?
In the view of former Superintendent of Police Jagat Man Shrestha who was with the MTPD for a long time, driving at high speed and driver’s negligence under the human causes are to blame for the high number of accidents. According to him, more than 25 percent of road accidents are caused due to the driver’s negligence. Shrestha said road accidents can be minimized by 30 to 40 percent if a brake is put on over speeding.
The Department of Transport Management stated there are 3.5 million big and small vehicles in the country and 1.1 million in Kathmandu Valley alone.