Nab the serial killersAccidents cannot be prevented but they can and should be minimised so that five innocent people do not die every day
A series of road mishaps in the past one and half months resulted in many deaths. At least 27 people were killed in the accident in Kavre on August 15. That was followed by another accident that killed 22 people when a bus plunged into Trishuli River on August 26. The next day, at least 11 people were killed when a four wheel-drive met with an accident in Arghakhanchi. Between August 15 and now, there were several other minor accidents that have killed many more. The victims may have been returning to their families, or travelling for some urgent work or a
holiday trip. These accidents can be termed ‘serial killings’ as they took place one after the other. Surely there should be someone responsible for these deaths? If so, why not nab
them and prevent future disasters that result in heartbreaks and tragedy for many families?
According to official figures, over 816 people have been killed in the past four and half months. There were 13,000 road accidents in the financial year 2069-70 BS that were responsible for over 1800 fatalities. In those accidents, almost 4,000 people sustained serious injuries and over 8,000 suffered minor injuries. The data show that there were over 35 road accidents every day across the country. That number must have increased by now. Accidents do happen even in the most developed countries despite various measures to prevent them. However, in our country, the number of accidents is too high, and it seems not much has been done to minimise them. This reinforces the need to nab the serial killers. But then, who are the serial killers who cause such fatal accidents?
Though we the people are the least guilty party, we have to bear our share of guilt. They say technology is not neutral. We import vehicles and modern machinery and devices from developed countries, but think that we can continue to live peaceful lives without bothering to change our mentality. The much-needed civic sense among us who walk on the streets or drive vehicles is sadly lacking. We tend to cross the street wherever and whenever we want, even when there is a zebra crossing just a few metres away. And those of us who drive do not bother to slow down at a zebra crossing for pedestrians. No wonder there is such a rise in road accidents.
We want public transports to stop at convenient points irrespective of the fact that there are designated stops. We want to get to our destination no matter how crowded the public transports are. We have no hesitation in travelling by sitting on top of buses. But then the general public bear only a minor portion of the overall responsibility for the serial road accidents that take place in the country. There is an urgent need for proper education, which will inculcate in all of us the much-needed civic sense that will ultimately reduce road accidents. For proper education teaches us not only to pass an examination, but also to tackle the ups and downs of life and to behave in a manner that does not cause problems or misery to others.
Much guiltier are those who build and repair roads in the country. There seems to be a huge fund pouring in from generous donors when new road projects are undertaken. No doubt new roads have to be built so that the people can move about freely, comfortably and quickly from one place to another. However, it is also imperative that roads already in existence are well maintained. It seems the authorities are not mindful of the maintenance aspect. This is evident from the roads that we see in the Capital. Most of them have remained neglected for years and are in a state of total disrepair. As motorbikes seem to be the in-thing in the Valley, many fall and injure themselves when they race through these roads. The situation is worse in the inner parts of the Capital. Who is responsible for the maintenance of such roads—the municipality or the Department of Roads? No matter who is responsible, the fact remains that these roads lead to accidents and cause inconvenience both to drivers and pedestrians. Such lack of responsibility points to the lopsided perspective of the concerned authorities who seem to think that building infrastructure at the cost of people’s basic needs is a sign of development.
Also responsible in the eyes of the common people are the traffic authorities. The police seem to ignore the existence of the so-called syndicate that prevent free and healthy competition in the transport sector. They also seem to be blind to over-crowding in buses running on long and perilous routes. The traffic police, along with other concerned agencies of the government, need to regulate the sector and make sure that transports are operated in a safe way. The country has adopted federalism, but power is still concentrated at the centre. If a single entity is to be held responsible and nabbed for the spate of accidents and needless deaths, it is the government that has so far failed to coordinate with all concerned agencies and authorities to minimise accidents. Accidents, as everybody knows, cannot be prevented but they can and should be minimised so that five innocent people do not die every day as a result of road accidents in this country.