It's soon going to be mandatory for pillion riders to wear helmets and for drivers to wear seat belts. The Valley Traffic Police Office hasn't stated the exact date when the rule will be implemented but they are preparing drivers to adjust to this rule. The Vehicle and Transport Act 2049 provides for safety measures for vehicle drivers and pillion riders but so far the rules haven't been enforced.
Experts feel it's time to implement these laws with the increase in the number of vehicles and deteriorating road conditions. The Kathmandu Valley Traffic Control Police office held a discussion program last week highlighting the need for helmets and safety belts. This would see a decrease in fatalities, especially in two wheeler accidents. Motorcylists, pillion riders, and pedestrians were likely to get hurt on an equal ratio according to accident data collected by the Valley Traffic Police Office over the past six months and a survey conducted among 185 motorcyclists at Bir Hospital. The survey revealed 32.2 percent of the drivers suffered serious head injuries. The figures head injuries among pillion riders and pedestrians were 19.4 percent and 48.4 percent. Fatalities among drivers was 33.3 percent, the same among pillion riders was 32.4 percent, and 33.4 percent for pedestrians. The survey also indicated that 40 percent of the drivers, 18.9 percent of the pillion riders, and 40.6 percent of pedestrians suffered broken limbs during accidents. The Kathmandu Valley Traffic Police Office, however, maintains that while motorcyclists are likely to suffer 80 percent injuries in an accident, their passengers will suffer 100 percent injuries.
The question is why did it take a decade to implement an act that was made 10 years ago? The need is greater today, say traffic officials, owing to a greater number of vehicles and the deteriorating condition of roads. On 28 November, the National Transport Security Committee meeting chaired by the Minister for Labour and Transport passed the proposal. However, traffic experts feel it will take time before we see results because transport entrepreneurs will need time to fit their vehicles with safety belts. The sale of motorbike helmets is expected to rise.