KATHMANDU, Nov 6: Despite various efforts by traffic police to reduce road accidents, on an average 160 people are killed every year in around 5,300 major road accidents in the three districts of the Kathmandu Valley, according to the figures provided by the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD).
MTPD data of the past seven fiscal years shows that Kathmandu Valley has witnessed a steady rise in the number of accidents that average at 5,288 per year. MPTD officials attribute the rise to the growth in vehicle population, drunk driving, over speeding and tendency among young drivers of disregarding traffic rules.
According to the MPTD data, altogether 5,096 cases of accidents were reported in three districts of Kathmandu Valley fiscal year 2011/12 and 148 people were killed in these accidents.
But as traffic police started strictly enforcing traffic rules and road discipline and launched a campaign against drunk-driving in 2011/12, road accidents in the Kathmandu Valley in the following fiscal year saw a slight decrease. The year (2012/13) recorded a total 4,770 road accidents and 147 deaths as a result.
In the following fiscal year (2013/14), the Valley recorded slightly fewer, 4,672, major road accidents and 143 deaths as a result, but the year 2014/15 saw the number of accidents climbing to 4,999. Altogether 133 persons died in those accidents.
The number of accidents and deaths have been rising since then. Altogether 5,568 cases of accidents were recorded in the fiscal year 2015/16 and 5,530 accidents in the following fiscal year. Those killed in the road accidents in Valley roads in 2015/16 and 2016/17 stood at 166 and 182, respectively.
Likewise, the Valley witnessed a total of 6,381 accidents and 194 deaths in those accidents in the fiscal year 2017/18.
According to the MPTD, around 3.23 million vehicles were registered across the country in the fiscal year 2017/18. Of them, more than 1.17 million vehicles were registered in the Bagmati zone alone. Traffic police officials believe that around 36.4 percent of the total registered vehicles across the country ply the Valley roads.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Damodar Silwal, who is deputy spokesperson of the MPTD, said the main reasons behind the increase in the number of accidents are increasing in human and vehicle population, violation of traffic rules, a tendency of youths to drive vehicles recklessly and over speeding.
“We have identified 23 black spots where accidents take place most frequently. We have adopted different measures to minimize accidents in those areas such as placing hoarding boards, constructing speed breakers and increased traffic checks,” he said.
23 accident-prone places in the Valley
Kalanki, Babarmahal, Airport, Minbhawan, Maitighar, Gatthaghar, Bhaktapur, Satdobato, Gwarko, Thankot, Sitapaila, Gongabu, Maharajgunj, Sukedhara, Chabahil, Jawalakhel, Bauddha, Kalimati, Singha Darbar, Gaushala, Budhanilkantha, Sanepa, and Sallaghari.