With ban lifted in Valley, tipper trucks again taking their toll

Published On: October 31, 2018 08:06 AM NPT By: Madhusudan Guragain

BANEPA, Oct 31: The home administration on Saturday lifted a ban on the movement of tipper trucks during daytime in the Kathmandu Valley.

Following the decision, the acting president of Bagmati Tipper Entrepreneurs Association, Prem Lal Lama, unveiled a ‘mini code of conduct’ for the tipper drivers through Facebook.

As mentioned in the ‘code of conduct’, all drivers have been asked to keep an assistant/help, keep the speed to not more than 35 kilometers per hour, and avoid overtaking. Furthermore, drivers have been urged to avoid unnecessary decorations, open the side windows, do not carry passengers, and diligently follow the traffic rules.

But the tipper drivers have yet to get rid of their old habits. This is evident from the fact that on Saturday, which was the first day since the administration lifted the daytime ban, a tipper with registration number Ba 3 Kha 642 hit a motorcycle (Lu 42 Pa 1359) at Tinpiple of Paanchkhal in Kavrepalanchowk killing one person and injuring another.

Ranjana Gautam, 50, who riding pillion, died on the spot. Her husband who was driving the bike was injured. 

“When the tipper hit my motorbike, my wife fell in front of the tire of the tipper. I gestured the driver to stop by raising my hand but he kept moving and crushed my wife to death,” lamented Kamal Gautam.

Similarly, at Suryabinayak Municipality-9, a tipper (Ba 4 kha 3153) collided with a Maruti van (Ba 16 Cha 1682) and two buses (Ba 4 Kha 7518 and Ba 5 Kha 3707) near the Kathmandu  Fun Valley along the Arniko Highway the same day. Six passengers of the van were injured in the incident.

Earlier, the Ministry of Home Affairs had announced that tippers would be allowed to enter the Valley only after 8 pm. However, after pressure from tipper operators, the ministry had rescheduled the time to 7 pm.

But after Saturday’s decision, tippers can move into the Valley anytime.

Likewise, Ram Shrestha, 25, of Namobuddha died on the spot after being crushed by a tipper (Ba 4 Kha 3650). All these incidents show that no matter how hard the tipper entrepreneurs or the traffic police try to convince the drivers, they are not going to listen. 

“We have time and again informed the tipper drivers about traffic rules. They all agree to follow the codes but once they are behind the wheel, they seem to forget everything,” said Sub-Inspector Rajesh Dahal, acting chief of the District Traffic Police Office (DTPO), Kavrepalanchowk.

According to him, most tipper accidents occur due to the negligence of the drivers instead of technical problems. As per the record maintained by the DTPO, tippers were found responsible in 19 accidents in the fiscal year 2017/18. These accidents cut short the life of 10 people. Furthermore, 13 were critically injured while five sustained minor injuries. Traffic police collected more than Rs 4.4 million fine by charging the tipper drivers for traffic rules violation.

“So far, 19 accidents involving tippers have occurred in the current fiscal year. Four people have lost their lives and 10 more were injured,” said Dahal, adding, “More than 2,300 tippers have been charged from which the state has collected a total of Rs 1.3 million in fine.”

According to the traffic police, fewer traffic police personnel on the roads and highways also might have made the tipper drivers unruly. “A single traffic police has to look after more than 75 passenger vehicles a day,” said Sub-Inspector Dahal. Currently, 30 traffic police in Kavre are managing more than 2,000 vehicles plying the Arniko, BP and Helambu highways.


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