Only harsher laws can deter reckless drivers: DIG Aryal

Published On: August 16, 2016 02:20 AM NPT By: Gyan P Neupane  | @GyaNeupane

KATHMANDU, Aug 16: Chief of Metropolitan Traffic Police Division Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Prakash Aryal has said that only stern legal action against reckless drivers can help reduce number of road accidents, which has been increasing at an alarming rate.

Speaking at a meeting of the parliament's Good Governance and Monitoring Committee on Monday, DIG Aryal claimed that weak laws were behind the increased road accidents in the country.

Nepal Police data shows that road accidents have been claiming 2,000 to 2,500 lives annually.

“The existing laws and our jurisdictions don't allow us to take stern action against the drivers involved in reckless driving,” he said at the parliamentary committee meeting that was attended by dozens of lawmakers and top-government officials among others.

“We have to introduce strong laws for minimizing accidents, including the provisions to revoke their driving license.”

He also urged the lawmakers to formulate harsher legal provisions to curb road accidents. “We want your support to introduce new laws that allow us to take strong action against the irresponsible drivers,” he said. “Public awareness alone cannot minimize the road accidents.”

He also requested the lawmakers to help incorporate road safety education in the school level curriculum.

“The traffic police have been requesting the ministry to include road safety at the school level since the last few years but they are yet to respond to our request,” he said. “That's why the government should focus on road safety program right from the school level.”

The committee organized the meeting to discuss “traffic management” at Singha Durbar on Monday.

After listening to views from DIG Aryal, several lawmakers have assured him about support to the efforts aimed at introducing strong laws against erring drivers. However, they also criticized the traffic police over the weak implementation of the existing legal provisions.

The committee has decided to form a taskforce to advise the government about the current situation of traffic management.

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