Each year millions of people around the world suffer from road traffic injuries. The cost of dealing with the consequences of road traffic crashes runs to millions of dollars. Globally, road traffic injuries is the eight leading cause of death and is projected to rise to top 5 by 2030.There are about 1.3 million road traffic deaths and about 30 to 40 million morbidity annually. Approximately 90% of the estimated deaths occur in low income and middle income countries. According to department of roads, the road density in Nepal is considered to be the lowest among the south Asian countries. Yet Nepal suffers a heavy rate of road traffic accidents. The country recorded an average of 28 road accidents a day which killed 6 persons each day in the fiscal year 2016/2017. According to statistics published by Nepal Police, a total of 2,385 persons were killed in 10,178 roads accidents in 2016-17 compared to 2,006 in 10,013 road accidents fiscal year before that. The data show the rising trend of road accidents and fatalities in the country each year. Similarly, 12,540 were injured, 4,250 critically, in 2016-17. A total of 1,356 people were killed in road accidents in the fiscal 2008/09, followed by 1,734 in 2009/10, 1,689 in 2010/11, 1,837 in 2011/12, 1,816 in 2012/13, 1,786 in 2013/14 and 2004 in 2014/15. On an average, 1,800 persons die in road accidents across the country every year. These figures shows the road accident fatalities are on rise. However these are not the actual mortality rate as a large no of the accidents go unreported, mainly because the parties involved settle the matter themselves. Hence, no of road traffic accident victims might even be higher. Recent major accidents of Nepal On March 9 2017 at least 22 people were killed and 40 others injured when a passenger bus plunged down some 200 meters from highway in Jagarkot district On October 28, 2017 a bus heading towards Kathmandu from Rajbiraj plunged into the Trishuli river at Ghatbesi in Dhading district killing 31 from total of 60 passengers. Living ones suffer from minor and major injuries. On October 30, 2017, a microbus met with an accident in Birbas of Gulmi. Out of 15 persons on the board 7 were killed, 6 injured and 2 went missing. These figures are only the glimpse of the actual situation and yet it is enough to acknowledge the frightening harsh reality of the condition of road traffic safety in our country. Whether we accept or not, the fact is that the death tolls and sufferings due to road accidents is even greater than that due to the decade long civil war. Wars and road traffic crashes are similar as the most common victims are young, and the death and injuries equally sudden violent traumatic events in both cases. The impacts of these events are horrific long lasting and often permanent. The Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims focuses on the devastation caused by road traffic deaths, and on their impact on bereaved .
families and society. These people have experienced a huge burden of grief and distress because many of the crashes could have been prevented. A simple carelessness or mistake that could have been easily prevented, caused millions of lives to suffer physical and psychological pain. People from any race, sex, religion, community, status can be the victim of road accidents. Many beloved famous personnel have lost their lives in road accidents. Paul walker, Princess Diana, grace Kelly, James Dean, Madan Bhandari, Madan Ghimire are some of them.
Freelancer, Traffic & Transportation Engineer
Chairman, Safe and Sustainable Travel Nepal