Capital roads becoming unsafe for pedestrians?

  • Reckless driving has made even zebra crossings dangerous
- Prachi Aryal, Kathmandu

Jul 9, 2017-

Pashupati Thapa of Gaushala lost his life in a road accident Monday. A microbus knocked him down when he was crossing the road using a zebra crossing at around 9:30pm. Thapa, who was a cook at a guest house in Gaushala, died of head injuries. 

Last month Rabina Chaudhari, a school teacher, was killed after she was hit by a bus while using a zebra crossing in Basundhara. Similarly, a speeding microbus took the life of Rup Lal Shah, an Indian national and injured four others in Jorpati on June 21. 

In May, Padam Raj Subedi, a retired government secretary, lost his life when he was hit by a two-wheeler while crossing a road using zebra crossing in Anamnagar. 

These incidents bring to the fore the dangers of walking in the Capital city, where roads are brimming with vehicles. 

In the wake of fatal accidents on zebra crossings in recent months, pedestrians now are wondering how they are going to cross the roads.

“We are taking stern measures to curb such incidents,” said DIG Mingmar Lama, chief of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division. “The offenders in these recent cases are facing legal action.”

The deaths on zebra crossings, however, indicate a serious lack of awareness among the drivers, who often tend not to slow their vehicles even when the approach these crosswalks.

Pedestrians have often complained that vehicles do not even stop despite seeing people using zebra crossings. 

Anisha Kafle of Dhapasi says: “Microbus drives not adhere to traffic rules. Their reckless driving makes it risky for us to even walk on the roads.” 

According to traffic police, those drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians to cross the roads are being fined Rs 500. “We are mulling over bringing more stern measures, like scrapping driving licence, to curb reckless driving,” said DIG Lama.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), road accidents are the world’s eighth leading cause of death. 

Every year, 1.3 million people die and another 50 million are injured due to road accidents all over the world. 

In Nepal, 5,051 incidents of road accident have been reported so far in the current fiscal year, in which 168 people lost their lives and 184 people were injured. A 10-year data from 2006 to 2016, provided by Nepal Police, show that there were 43,176 road accidents in which 1,487 people were killed and 4,961 were seriously injured.

Published: 09-07-2017 08:18

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