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Safe on the roads

Kathmandu, May 11, 2016: As per the latest statistics of the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic accidents.

Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people, aged 15-29 years, informs the data, adding that 90 per cent of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately half of the world’s vehicles.

When it comes to Nepal, more than 18,000 deaths were the result of road accidents from 2006 to 2011, as per data provided by the Nepal Police.

And every year more than 2,000 people die due to road accidents with five dying every day, while 33 are injured.

So, to minimise road accidents through awareness of road safety measures, the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) and Nepal Traffic Police have come together to observe the Road Safety Week from May 8 to 14.

It is being observed in 14 districts — Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur,
Kailali, Banke, Rupandehi, Kaski, Chitwan, Morang, Dhanusa, Jhapa, Saptari, Parsa and Makawanpur — with various activities.

“Keeping in mind the increasing number of road accidents, we are working together to minimise road accidents and celebrating Road Safety Week in 14 districts,” SSP Ganesh Bahadur Gurung, Traffic Directorate, Traffic Head Office, said about the programme adding, “We are expecting increased awareness of traffic rules through this and that people follow traffic rules so that there is a decrease in road accidents.”

Through brochures to essay writing to radio jingles and videos on traffic safety, “awareness” of road safety and traffic rules is their objective.

Hence, different activities are taking place in different corners of the country this Week.

Major activities include volunteer orientation and mobilisation in which four different brochures for children, commuters, pedestrians and drivers are being distributed while teaching people how to use the zebra crossing and overhead bridge among other; classes on road safety; essay competitions on the role of students on road safety in each district; rally and installation of road banners and hoarding boards on road safety.

This is the first ever big Road Safety Week celebration in which NRCS has joined.

And this is just one activity of NRCS’s three-year-project ‘First Aid and Road Safety’.

“NRCS is experienced in post-crash response. In road safety guidelines of Nepal Government, there are five pillars. The fourth pillar is about education and fifth pillar is about post-crash response. NRCS, being a humanitarian organisation, can work in these two sections — education is our responsibility while humanitarian assistance is our core area,” Shushil Raj Regmi, Programme Coordinator, NRCS informed.