SINDHUPALCHOWK, Dec 24: In a bid to reduce road accidents, police have arrested two bus drivers from the Kathmandu-Chautara route of the Araniko Highway for over-speeding.
District Police Office, Sindhupalchowk arrested them for unhealthy competition on the route, and it is also preparing to take action against the drivers for over-speeding.
According to Inspector Ganesh Khanal, police have arrested the drivers of the buses with registration numbers Ba 2 Kha 4086 and Ba 2 Kha 1636. “We are preparing to take action against them for over-speeding,” Khanal said.
Police arrested the two drivers based on information received from passengers on board the bus. As both the buses were over-taking each other in an unhealthy manner, police arrested the drivers from Bandeu along the Dolalghat-Chautara road section.
Inspector Khanal further said that police are investigating into the issue taking them in custody as per the law. Meanwhile, police have not disclosed the names of the drivers.
After increasing bus accidents in the region due to over-speeding and carelessness, police have started monitoring passenger buses plying the Araniko Highway.
In the last three months, a total of 45 passengers lost their lives in three different accidents along the highway. A total of 176 passengers were injured in these accidents.
On October 1, a bus belonging to Helambu Yatayat with registration number Ba 2 Kha 2715 met with an accident at Indrawati Rural Municipality, killing 11 from the same village. The accident left 106 passengers injured. A month later, on November 3, a bus (Ba 2 Kha 7245) plunged into the Sunkoshi River from Araniko Highway at Sukute leaving 18 passengers dead and more than 50 injured.
Likewise, 15 passengers were killed when a bus chartered by pilgrims met with an accident at ward 7 of Sunkoshi Rural Municipality in Sindhupalchowk district on December 16.
All the accidents reportedly happened due to carelessness of the drivers. The Indrawati accident occurred as the driver allegedly drove the bus even after becoming aware about problems with the brake system. Likewise, the bus that plunged into the Sunkoshi River was just repaired before the accident. The injured of the accident that occurred on Dec 16 said that technical problems might have caused the accident.
According to police, the accidents had occurred due to over-speeding and carelessness of the drivers.
Inspector Khanal further said that police are also organizing awareness programs in several parts of the district to reduce the increasing road accidents along the highway.
Earlier this week, police had run an eye-checkup camp at Bandeu along the Araniko Highway targeting bus drivers. A total of 116 drivers had their eyes checked up at the camp, according to the police. Inspector Khanal said that seven drivers had eye-related problems.
“The camp was run to spread the message that accidents may happen also due to problems related to the vision of the drivers,” Inspector Khanal told Republica.