KATHMANDU, Oct 18: The country witnessed more number of road accidents and causalities during this year's Dashain festival compared to the same period last year.
Data maintained by Nepal Police showed that 563 road accidents took place across the country this year during Dashain, between October 1 and 15.
“These accidents alone killed a total of 101 people and injured 645 others, among which the condition of 221 people is critical,” informed Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Hemanta Malla, spokesperson for Nepal Police.
In the last year during Dashain, 502 road accidents had taken place across the country which killed 92 people, seriously injured 192, while 398 others sustained minor injuries, according to Nepal Police. Both the number of accidents and causalities are higher this year than last year.
Majority of the accidents took place in the eastern region in both years; while mid-western region recorded the least number of accidents this year and the far-western region during last year.
According to police, motorcycles accounted for the maximum number of accidents, followed by jeeps and buses during Dashain this year.
“Maximum number of accidents took place due to drivers' negligence, such as reckless driving and breaching the lane. Another cause for accidents besides drivers' negligence is over speeding,” claimed DIG Malla.
According to him, they had adopted a number of measures to bring down the number of accidents during festivals. “Our policies, including time card to curb over speeding, proved to be very effective. Time card is operational in 14 major road stretches across the country to deter speeding.”
Likewise, additional temporary police check posts apart from the regular ones were also set up in various places to monitor and minimize traffic rules violations, informed DIG Malla. “Along with it, we have tried to ensure that drivers of long route get adequate rest before driving. For this, there are 31 refreshing centers in important road sections across the country, and we also ensured that there were two drivers to drive the vehicles alternatively in long routes.”
Despite all these efforts, the number of road accidents and casualties did not decrease this year. According to DIG Malla, one of the factors is the increase in the number of vehicles.
“The number of vehicles has drastically increased in the last three years. It has almost doubled since the last three years. That is one of the reasons for increased number of road accidents despite our relentless efforts to curb it,” he added.