Rampant increase in accidents in valley

Published On: July 31, 2018 05:30 AM NPT By: Biken K Dawadi

KATHMANDU, JULY 31: Records maintained by the Metropolitan Traffic Police Office (MTPO) show an increase of more than 15 percent in road accidents in the valley in fiscal year 2017/18 from the previous fiscal year. MTPO's data on road accidents reveal that the number of accidents in the valley has hit an all time high of 6,381 claiming a whopping 194 lives in the last fiscal year.

The last year saw the number of accidents involving two-wheelers reach an all time high of 4,035 from 3,349 in the previous fiscal year; an increase of about 21 percent. The death toll of two-wheeler riders in road accidents rose to a staggering 111 which is about 57 percent of the total deaths caused by road accidents in the year. MTPO officials claim that the office has already started taking action to reduce this number by making use of various previously used techniques in a different way.

“We have no new technique for the overall reduction of the road accidents. Instead, we are focusing on conducting checkings in a different way,” spokesman for MTPO, Superintendent of Police (SP) Surendra Prasad Mainali said. He added that the traffic police has started checking focusing on the age group, time period and type of vehicles.

Mainali said, “We have started strict checking for the people in the age group of 21 to 40 (the age group that contributes to more than 75 percent of the total road accidents) from 12 PM to 6 PM (which is the time period when about half of the accidents occurred).” He added that the MTPO has increased the movement of traffic personnel so as to keep accidents in check with the limited number of personnel they have.

The MTPO has also increased the use of radar guns to control over speeding. MTPO has also incorporated new technologies such as CCTV cameras, GoPro cameras and surveillance vehicles to monitor vehicular movement.

Involvement of people younger than 20 years halved

The fiscal year 2017/18 saw a surprising decrease of more than half in the number of involvement of people of less than 20 years of age in road accidents, decreasing from 2,046 in fiscal year 2016/17 to 993 in the last year.

The MTPO took the credit for this decrease citing various measures it took to address the problem. “We conducted traffic classes at schools and colleges targeting the age group,” SP Mainali said, “Since the age group generally uses two-wheelers and that too without a license, we started strict checking for unlicensed drivers of two-wheelers.” He added that the MTPO started strict checking of modified bikes since the people of the age group are fanatic of such vehicles which often lead to road accidents.

Why are people of age group 21-40 more involved in road accidents?

The last fiscal year also saw the number of people of age group 21-40 years hit an all time high of 8,224 accidents which contributes to about 75 percent to the total number of people involved in road accidents.

“The people of this age group use many types of vehicles. Unlike the age group of less than 20 years who are restricted to two-wheelers, people of this age group can also drive heavy vehicles including tippers. As a result, there are more accidents where these people are involved,” SP Mainali said.He added that even though this age group largely contributes to the active population of the nation, the people of this age group tend to be more careless while driving. Mainali added, “They use mobile phones, do not use rear glasses, and listen to music while driving. These habits invite accidents.”

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