KATHMANDU, Nov 10: Nepal recorded five deaths a day on an average due to road accidents in the first three and a half months of the current fiscal year.
Statistics compiled by the traffic police offices in all seven provinces show that road accidents shot up alarmingly in the given period, with the total number of deaths reaching 538 and the number of those injured to 4,688 in a total of 4,657 road accidents recorded in the period. This means that five persons die a day on an average in 38 road accidents that take place across the country each day.
From mid-July to October end this fiscal year, a total of 86 were killed in Province 1, 100 in Province 2, 78 in Province 3, and 59 in Gandaki Province. Likewise, a total of 146 persons died in Province 5, 34 persons in Karnali Province, and 25 persons in Sudurpaschim Province in the same period. A majority of accidents in the current fiscal year were recorded during Dashain and Tihar festivals, according to the data of traffic police.
The statistics compiled by the Traffic Police Office (TPO), Itahari shows that a total of 30 persons lost lives in 128 road accidents in Ashoj (mid-September to mid-October) in Province 1. According to Inspector Homnath Dahal of TPO Itahari, road accidents increase in the festive season, as a result of over speeding, consumption of alcohol, and overloading, among others. In the current fiscal, 301 persons have been injured in road accidents in Province 1.
Likewise, a total of 110 persons have already lost lives in 250 road accidents in the current fiscal year in Province 1. In the last fiscal, 474 persons died in road accidents in the province. After the start of the current fiscal, 386 persons have been injured. Likewise, traffic police recorded 158 motorcycle accidents in Province 2 in the current fiscal. According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Yog Bahadur Pal of Provincial Traffic Office, the number of road accidents has been increasing in recent times, and the main reason behind it is over speeding. “In the majority of cases, accidents occur due to the carelessness of drivers. The deceased are often 17-35 years old,” he added.
Meanwhile, Province 3 has recorded 3,310 road accidents in the current fiscal year. The accidents took the lives of 78 persons, while 2,970 persons sustained injuries. In the course of a month, two deadly accidents occurred in Sindhupalchowk due to over speeding and overloading. “Often road accidents occur due to the carelessness of drivers. Over speeding, overloading, old vehicles, and carelessness are the major reasons behind the increasing road accidents,” according to DSP Madhav Prasad Kafle, spokesperson for the District Police Office, Sindhupalchowk. Kafle further added that road accidents can be reduced by 75 percent if drivers become more careful.
The statistics maintained by Gandaki Provincial Police Office, a total of 59 persons died in 215 road accidents in the current fiscal year. Of the deceased, 13 were pedestrians, while the remaining were passengers and drivers. In the first three months of the current fiscal year, 73 motorcycles accidents were recorded, according to SP Deepak Regmi, information officer for Gandaki Province Police Office. In the province, a total of 191 persons sustained injuries in different road accidents in the first three months of the current fiscal.
Meanwhile in Province 5, the number of road accidents has not declined despite awareness campaigns conducted by the traffic police. The statistics show a total of two persons die on an average every two days in the province. Likewise, five persons are injured every day. In the last three and a half months of the current fiscal year, 435 road accidents were recorded in the 12 districts of the province. The accidents claimed the lives of 146 persons, and left 555 injured.
Province 5 police, too, say carelessness on the part of drivers is the major reason behind the increasing number of accidents. According to DSP Ram Prakash Shah of Province Traffic Police Office, Butwal, 60 percent of road accidents occurr due to the carelessness of drivers. In April, a Nepali Congress lawmaker died in a road accident in the province. Then, the provincial government had organized several awareness programs to reduce road accidents. Despite efforts from the government and other stakeholders, the number of road accidents in the region has not declined.
Meanwhile, the number of road accidents in Karnali Province is fewer in comparison to other provinces. In the current fiscal year so far, a total of 89 road accidents have been recorded in the province, according to the statistics maintained by the traffic police. In the accidents, 34 persons died, while 136 persons sustained injuries. According to Inspector Meghraj Prasad Chaurasiya of Provincial Traffic Police Office, road accidents can be reduced by 80 percent if the drivers are cautious while driving.
Meanwhile, poor road infrastructure is the major reason behind the increasing number of road accidents in Sudurpaschim Province. In the current fiscal year, 25 persons died and 44 sustained injuries in 28 different road accidents in the province. According to Inspector Saroj Kumar Thakurathi of Sudurpaschim Traffic Police Office, Attariya, carelessness of drivers is the major reason behind the road accidents.
(Amar Khadka from Itahari, Kamalesh Thakur from Dhanusha, Dhurba Dangal from Sindhupalchowk, Dukpa Chhiring Moktan from Kathmandu, Sabita Shrestha from Chitwan, Santosh Pokhrel from Pokhara, Rekha Bhusal from Butwal, Ganesh Bishu from Surkhet, and Pushparaj Joshi from Dhangadhi contributed to this report)