KATHMANDU, June 19: In 10 months, 5,180 road accidents, 17 each day, take place in the Kathmandu Valley, according to data maintained by the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division. These accidents have so far killed 149 people, 80 of whom were 17-35 years of age, predominantly motorcyclists. Fifty four were above 36 while 15 were below 16 years.
Chief at the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, Basanta Kumar Panta said that speeding in motorcycles was one of the major reasons of accidents between people aged 16-35 years old. The number is alarming as it is close to exceeding annual road accident deaths of 2015/16 within 10 months.
Data of past two years show that Kathmandu’s road accidents are increasing: 166 people died in 2015/16 while 182 died in 2016/17. Of the deaths, motorcyclists contributed to 92 and 86 in the respective fiscal years. Panta said that majority of the accidents took place at night and collision was common element during accidents.
Of around 2.7 million vehicles across the country, more than a million are in Kathnandu’s roads. With limited staffers, the capital’s traffic personnel find it difficult to manage traffic.
General Secretary of Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE), Saroj Sitaula explained the high number of road accidents to high speed and lack of appropriate road infrastructure.
According to the Division, 130 males and 36 females died in fiscal year 2015/16; 121 males and 61 females in fiscal year 2016.17 and 117 males and 32 females in the current fiscal year due to traffic accidents in the Valley.
MTPD stated that it has taken action against 378,927 vehicles breaching traffic rules in the current fiscal year.
The number of vehicles in Kathmandu valley is so high that it is said one traffic police personnel has to manage 1,044 vehicles.