3-9 November 2017 #882

Highway of death

Naya Patrika, 29 October

A bus heading to Kathmandu from Saptari plunged into Trisuli River on Saturday 28 October leaving 31 people dead. The overloaded bus was carrying people who were returning from the eastern district after celebrating the Chhath festival.

The accident took place in Gajuri Rural Municipality-5 in Dhading district and this section of Prithvi Highway has been marked as ‘black spot’ by Road Division. The driver lost control of the bus at high speed at a bend at Bange in Ghatebesi early morning. Reckless speeding is one of the major causes of bus crashes on Nepal’s highways. It is mandatory to have two drivers on a long route, but the law has never been implemented.

The Home Ministry has directed the local administration to make public transportation safe and even formed a three-member investigation committee. It is a norm for the Home Ministry to form such committees right after a serious road accident, but the findings are never implemented. And everyting is forgotten till the next accident.

Two years ago, the government decided to enforce special licenses for drivers of public transport vehicles to decrease the number of fatal bus crashes, but the rule also fell by the wayside. As a result, inexperienced and incompetent drivers lietrally have the lives of innocent passengers in their hands.

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