Thursday, 23 May, 2024

Tippers turning valley roads into death trap


By A Staff Reporter

Kathmandu, Sept. 23: A tipper heading towards Gaushala from Tinkune hit a motorcycle rider Pasang Bhote at Sinamangal in Kathmandu on August 25, leaving him dead on the spot
In the accident, the tipper also hit two other motorcycles coming from the opposite direction injuring three other people.
Ismita Bhandari of Kavre died on July 15 at Jadibuti and another scooter driver Chet Bahadur Thapa, 48, was also killed by a tipper at early 5:00 am. The tipper was heading towards Sanothimi from Pepsicola.
These are some of the representative incidents to show how tippers have been killing riders of the small vehicles (scooters and motorcycles). The incidents related to tippers have been recurring every week and month, which showed no sign of abating.
According to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD), Ram Shah Path, 62 people lost their life in Kathmandu Valley within three years after tippers hit the passengers and small vehicles.
During the fiscal year 2016/17, altogether 77 people riding the two wheelers died, while their number rose to 111 in the fiscal year 2017/18. During the last fiscal year, 2018/19, a total of 115 people died in motorcycle and scooter accidents, the highest death rates among the last two years.
As of September 20 of the current fiscal year, eight people riding scooters and motorcycles have already lost their life, according to spokesperson of Traffic Police Division, and Superintendent of Police (SP) Rabi Kumar Poudel.
SP Poudel said that those riding two wheelers are always at high risk of getting into road fatalities at any time. This usually happens due to self-negligence of the riders, SP Poudel said.
Yadav Lal Shrestha, chairman of Tipper and Truck Entrepreneur Association, said that the major drawbacks of tipper was that drivers could not see its ground level as a result they could not see small vehicles coming near the front or rear side of the truck.
Former DIG and former head of traffic division Keshav Adhikari has the similar view. “The tippers’ design and structure have been built in a faulty way and their drivers cannot see clearly small vehicles coming to its side mirrors,” Adhikari said.
Through these tipper mirrors the driver even could not see their own left hand side wheels, he said. When the tippers carry heavy loads and run in high speed, the drivers sometime could not stop the vehicle due to its faulty brake system, he said.
Apart from these, some policy level weaknesses are also creating problem in reducing tipper-caused road accidents, SP Poudel said. Most of the tipper drivers are young and inexperienced, Poudel said.
SP Poudel said that because of drivers’ lack of experience and

due to unhealthy competition, road accidents related to tipper are increasing. The Kathmandu Valley has already been densely populated and the number of private and small vehicle users is also increasing every day, he said.
According to chairman Shrestha, daily 4,000 tippers make their entry and exit in the night time mostly carrying construction materials. According to report of District Coordination Committee, it collects revenue receipts of over 4,000 tippers per day.
According to Nepal Tipper and truck Entrepreneurs Committee, every night about 2,500 tippers make their entry to the capital.
Last year only, the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division in coordination with the Department of Transport Management had implemented a time card system to regulate and control the influx of tipper inside the capital.
The tippers carrying heavy loads wait until 8:00 pm at the capital’s boarder points to make their entry every night.
According to statistics of the traffic police, about 90 per cent of small vehicles are hit by tippers due to negligence of the tripper drivers. However, Shrestha said that tippers don’t always make mistakes; sometime small vehicles are also equally responsible for fatalities.
Former DIG Adhikari said that the tipper terror must be controlled by amending the existing transport laws with strong provision of punishment and fine.
SP Poudel said that wherever a tipper is engaged in hit and kill incident, a driver, if found guilty, faces murder charge sheet. If a person is injured by a tipper then the driver needs to foot the bill for all medical expenses. The traffic police, however, impose a fine of up to Rs. 1,500 to the erring driver.