KATHMANDU: Tippers, the most recklessly driven trucks in Kathmandu, have contributed to the highest number of road accidents in recent times.
The tippers, which have been found to be ridiculing traffic rules, are sometimes called ‘killers’. They continue to operate unpunished.
Tippers have posed serious threat mainly to motorcyclists and pedestrians in Kathmandu.
For instance, very recently on August 25, one Pasang Bhote was killed on the spot when a speeding tipper knocked down three motorcycles at the same time near Sinamangal in Kathmandu. Three others were injured in the incident.
Last year on June 22, Chet Bahadur Thapa, 48, was killed when a tipper hit his scooter at around 5:30 am when he was heading towards Sano Thimi from Pepsi-cola. A week later, a tipper hit a pedestrian Asmita Bhandari at Jadibuti.
If not daily, featuring some tipper which has crushed a pedestrian or a motorcyclist has become a regular work for news media.
Unfortunately, traffic rules are apparently not binding on tippers as they ply recklessly.
If the statistics of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) is to be considered, tippers have killed around 62 people in the last three years.
Number of people killed by tippers
Fiscal year 2016/17 – 11 people
Fiscal year 2017/18 – 21 people
Fiscal year 2018/19 – 21 people
Current fiscal year – 1 person
Bike and scooters hit hard
According to the MTPD, a total of 77 people riding motorcycles and scooters were killed in traffic accidents in the fiscal year 2016/17. The number increased to 111 in 2017/18, and 115 in 2018/19. Likewise, a total of eight people have been killed in motorcycle and scooter accidents in the last month of the current fiscal year.
Superintendent of Police (SP) at the MTPD, Basanta Panta revealed that majority of the victims of tipper menace are motorcycle and scooter riders.
However, Chairman of Tipper and Truck Entrepreneurs Committee Yadav Lal Shrestha said the tippers are made in such a manner that they can carry heavy loads such as sand, pebbles, and rocks in huge quantity.
According to him, the tipper drivers won’t be able to see the ground level from their seat due to the structure of the truck. Drivers, therefore, cannot see scooters and bikes overtaking the tippers.
Former DIG Keshab Adhikari says tipper drivers cannot see a motorcycle on the left-hand side or just in the front since the front part of the tipper is big and elevated. According to him, even the rear wheels cannot be seen from the looking glass.
Moreover, most of the tipper drivers are young, immature and inexperienced, and they tend to drive recklessly, according to SP Panta.
4 thousand tippers in Kathmandu Valley
According to the District Coordination Committee statistics, it issues at least 4 thousand receipts on a daily basis, which means that around four thousand tippers operate every day within the Kathmandu Valley.
The Nepal Tipper and Truck Entrepreneurs Committee, however, says a total of 25 hundred tippers enter the valley from different entry points usually at the same time every day.
In an effort to minimize accidents, the government has introduced ‘time-card’ to the tippers. However, rather than minimizing the speed to follow the time card, tippers prefer to halt at a certain place and enter the Valley at around 8 pm at the same time since the government has forbidden the tippers to ply in Kathmandu during day time.
Despite the government efforts to minimize accidents, the traffic police have failed to curtail the violations of traffic rules by the tippers. This has left a question mark over the strict implementation of the rules since the number of such accidents has been on a rise.
The Nepal Tipper and Truck Entrepreneurs Committee had even announced prize to the best driver of the tipper as an effort to minimize accidents.
All measures taken by the administration have yielded no fruits.