‘Forward road safety bill’

Kathmandu, 1 February: Stakeholders and authorities advancing the cause of road safety in the country have demanded to forward the process for the road safety bill for which the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) has prepared the draft.

At a workshop organized by Nepal Injury Investigation Centre on Road Safety here Friday, lawmaker Dr Dila Shangraula, who had registered the proposal of public importance related to road safety in the parliament, demanded the process for the same be advanced at the earliest.

Dr Shangraula argued that it was the government’s duty to ensure road safety. Furthermore, she viewed that the concerned authority should take stock of the construction process of roads and make sure that the roads meet the required standards.

Moreover, the lawmaker opined that the legal provisions have become toothless to curb road accidents as the Motor Vehicles and Transport Management Act was very old and the regulations date back at the same time.

She viewed that the Ministry for Physical Infrastructures as well as Ministry for Environment and Health should work in tandem to prepare the draft for the Road Safety Bill.

Similarly, lawmaker Ram Kumari Jhakri spoke of the need for the media to conduct in-depth reporting of the road accidents and prod the stakeholders.

She asserted that the media should enhance advocacy on the issues relating to road safety. According to her, both the government and public should be responsible to reduce the road accidents.

Likewise, Joint-Secretary at the Ministry, Saroj Pradhan, said that the Bill relating to Road Safety was being prepared.

Pradhan shared that a study conducted by traffic police showed that road accidents claim around 2,000 people annually in the country while around 4,000 people get critically injured and physically-disabled. Around 6,000 people get injured.

On the occasion, senior journalist Yubaraj Ghimire said that the cases of road accidents were increasing lately as the traffic police had been allowing the motorcade of the VIPs to accelerate the speed of their vehicles at their will.

He strongly voiced that only ambulances and fire brigade should be granted that facility.

The senior journalist was of the view that the media houses should publish news and stories that would raise awareness of road safety among people.

Journalist Gajendra Budhathoki who sustained spinal injury following a road accident in 2008 said that his survival has been a costly affair since the road accident.

Present at the workshop were Kathmandu Medical College (KMC)’s President Rabindra Raj Pandey, KMC’s Executive Chief Prof Dr Damodar Prasad Pokharel, KMC’s Prof Dr Chanda Kakri and engineer Shree Ram Poudel among others echoed with Dr Shangraula to forward the process to draft and enact the Road Safety Bill.