Local government’s role instrumental to minimize road accidents during festive season

Road accidents have been increasing every year in Nepal during festival time. But the concerned agency has not been taking necessary initiatives to minimize the road accidents.

First of all, it is necessary to differentiate the road accidents that occur in urban and rural areas and to formulate the policy accordingly. The road accidents have been occurring in urban areas especially due to over-speeding and drunk driving. And the police seem to have devised plans as per the same.

The situation in the rural areas, however, is different. The key problem is that there are no sufficient public vehicles in rural areas and the concerned agency has not done anything to increase the vehicles considering Dashin, the biggest festival in country.

That is why, public vehicles are often over-crowded in rural areas especially during festival time. Besides the passengers, the already overloaded vehicles also carry the extra goods necessary for Dashain festival. In many cases, the bus carries the load beyond its maximum capacity. It is the duty of traffic police to monitor and intervene to minimized the risks. But the presence of police in the rural area is too sparse.

Passengers did not listen to the suggestions of the police as they have to reach their home at any cost. Police should persuade the passengers any how to minimize the risk of road accidents. Moreover, there is less presence of traffic police and other police personnel in rural areas.

Not just the heavy load, the drivers are also found not paying proper attention while driving in the rural roads.

Drivers often drive the vehicles recklessly in order to earn more money, thereby increasing the risk of accidents. The drivers earn more money if they reach the destinations early. In addition to that, there is no agency to monitor the driving skill of the drivers—be it Nepal Police or other government agencies.

Having said that it is the responsibility of respective local governments to monitor the vehicles that ply in their area, none of the concerned agency has paid attention towards this issue.

Another reason of road accidents is the use of old vehicles. In many cases, the old and worn out buses are sent to the rural areas after they are used for a long time in urban areas.

It could be viewed in a positive light that each and every household in the rural area have been connected with roads as the trend of opening tracks by using bulldozers have been increasing in recent times. However, the situation of those roads are pathetic. Due to the extended monsoon rains, the roads in rural areas have not dried yet. Thus, there is a high risk of road accidents this year in comparison to last year.

On top of that, the local government has not paid any attention to fill the pits and potholes on the roads. Similarly, sensitive places have also not been identified for the buses.

Landslides can occur any time in any places due to continuous rainfall. Hence, the local government and police should monitor the vehicles that ply in their areas to minimize the road accidents. The local government can deploy its team to monitor the buses and identify the sensitive places if needed.

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