Road fatalities during Dashain triple to 13 from last yearThirteen people died in road accidents in Kathmandu Valley in the last 14 days during the Dashain festival.
Thirteen people died in road accidents in Kathmandu Valley in the last 14 days during the Dashain festival.
The death toll in road accidents during the festival period this year is three times more than last year.
The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) recorded 255 accidents in the Valley between October 10 (Ghatasthapana) and October 21 (Sunday) with 13 deaths.
Kathmandu has the highest number of casualties at eight, followed by three in Lalitpur and two in Bhaktapur. Nearly 200 have been injured, eight of them seriously, in the accidents.
The MTPD recorded four accident deaths during the same period last Dashain (fiscal year 2017-18) in the Valley, while there were 10 deaths in 2016-17. MTPD Deputy Spokesperson and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Damodar Silwal blamed drink driving, over speeding and carelessness of drivers for the spike in road accidents.
“During the festival, the roads are often empty and people drive at high speeds. Postmortem reports show many of the dead had consumed alcohol,” said Silwal.
In the last fortnight, the MTPD booked 992 for driving vehicles after consuming alcohol. Under the existing traffic regulations, anyone found drink driving is fined Rs1,000 and will have to attend an hour-long class on the risk of drink driving. The MTPD had also set up 13 help desks at different places to help passengers travelling to their hometowns.
The traffic in Kathmandu Valley, which remains busy all the time, decreases significantly during Dashain. Most of the roads in the city look deserted.
According to Department of Transport Management, this year around 2.5 million people travelled out of Kathmandu Valley to celebrate Dashain in their hometowns with family members.
The MTPD had deployed 420 traffic police in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. In Kathmandu 104, traffic police personnel were deployed in three shifts. Similarly, 24 traffic police worked in Lalitpur and 12 in Bhaktapur in three shifts.