Wednesday Aug 17, 2022
Wednesday Aug 17, 2022

Road safety in Nepal

Taking initiatives to improve road safety in Nepal can prevent the increasing number of road traffic accidents.

2022 Apr 06, 7:01, Kathmandu

Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) are the leading cause of morbidity, disability and mortality in Nepal.

According to the Traffic Directorate, maximum RTAs occur due to high driving speed, blind turns and the rider’s critical health condition. In the year 2072/073 the number of RTAs registered was 4119 whereas in the year 2073/074 the number reached up to 5205. This shows an increasing trend in road traffic accidents in Nepal.

However, a study ‘ Completeness of police reporting of traffic crashes in Nepal’ published in January 2022, showed there was low reporting in the police records in relation to road traffic accidents resulting in minor injury and property damage.

 Local record keepers who worked and lived at high risk locations were recruited and their data was compared to the police records for the same amount of time and location. The overall police crash reporting rate was only 19.7% in comparison to the local record keeper’s data.

Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) cause a lot of preventable deaths, non-fatal injuries and disability in people. Moreover, the social and financial loss resulting from road traffic accidents in Nepal cannot be compensated.

To improve the deteriorating condition of road safety in Nepal, National Road Safety Alliance has been established with many organizations working in the field as a network to initiate and facilitate road safety programs in Nepal. Nepal Automobiles Association (NASA) is the founding member National Road Safety Alliance. NASA has been working since the last 14 years to improve road safety in Nepal.

On the matter, Mr. Govinda Bhattarai, road safety activist and chief adviser of NASA Nepal says, “ Avoiding risky driving is a necessary element of road safety, all vehicles must slow down when close to schools, hospitals or other places where there is presence of a large number of people. Similarly, in the case of motorbikes and scooters, wearing of hamlets by not just the driver but the passengers as well, ensures better road safety.”

“ As for pedestrians, walking on the designed footpaths can prevent a lot of negative consequences in relation to road safety.” He adds. “ Implementing prevention measures is a must but in the case a crash does happen, the post crash response should be effective and fast, with proper ambulance services reaching on time.” He further adds.

A study, ‘Road Traffic Accidents in Kathmandu Valley’, mentioned negligence of the driver, fast pace, consumption of alcohol during driving and before driving, overtaking, pedestrians' carelessness, deteriorating road condition, obstruction from the cattle, weather condition and mechanical defects of the vehicles as major causes of Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) in Nepal.

“ Even Though people are aware of traffic rules they still neglect implementing it , which hinders the overall road safety, ” concludes Bhattarai.


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