Festive season road accidents in Valley rising, traffic data showTraffic police says drink-driving and speeding are main causes of road accidents.
The year-on-year road accident rate in Kathmandu Valley during the festive month—between Dashain and Tihar—has been increasing, data from the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division show.
Between September 29 (Ghatasthapana) and October 29 this year, the data show that there were 553 road accidents in the Valley. As many as 12 people lost their lives in these accidents while 386 others sustained injuries.
Last year, 400 accidents and 15 deaths were reported during the same period.
“The number of road accidents in the Valley increased this festival season. But if you look at the number of fatalities, they have come down,” said SSP Bhim Prasad Dhakal, chief at the division.
Traffic authority says drink-driving and speeding are the main reasons behind increased road accidents during the festival season.
Although the division had deployed 430 additional traffic officers and as many as 500 traffic volunteers in different parts of the Valley to enforce traffic rules and prevent road accidents during the festival period, there was a surge in the number of road accidents this year—upwards by 153 compared to the last year’s figure.
“We have been strict with punishments related to drink-driving, but there has been no let-up in the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol during festivals,” said Dhakal.
Around 3,550 drivers were booked for drink-driving offence in the Valley in the past one month.
Speeding is another reason behind increased road accidents during Dashain and Tihar when there are fewer vehicles on the Valley roads, with millions of people leaving for their hometowns to celebrate the festivals, according to the division.
Nearly 3 million people travelled out of the Kathmandu Valley to celebrate the Dashain festival this year.
The division recorded 430 cases of public transport operators overcharging passengers this festival season.
Similarly, 17,931 drivers were booked for other traffic offences, 1,839 vehicle owners were ticketed for parking in undesignated areas, and 752 were fined for over-speeding.
There were also 991 cases of lane discipline violation and 327 cases of no horn rule violation during this year’s Dashain and Tihar holidays.