Kathmandu,Dec.1: The Kathmandu Valley Traffic Police Office has informed that they will be implementing different speed limits along different roads across the Kathmandu Valley strictly effective from Thursday.
The speed limit will be either 50 kmph (kilometre per hour) or less with respect to the roads and places, said the Kathmandu Valley Traffic Police Office (KVTPO).
Sub-Section 5 of Section 18 of the Motor Vehicles and Transport Management Rules, 1997, has provisioned for certain speed limits to be followed by motor vehicles.
According to the rules, maximum speed for car, jeep, van and pick up is 80 kmph. Similarly, the speed limit is 40 kmph for tempo, scooter, power tiller and tractor, and 50 kmph for motorcycles.
Also, bus, mini bus, truck and mini truck can drive at a maximum of 50 kmph on a hilly road and a maximum of 70 kmph on a plain /surface road.
Nevertheless, no motor vehicle can exceed 40 kmph in an area with dense settlement, also known as built-up areas.
Even though the speed limit provisions are legally binding in Nepal, compliance to these provisions is rare in practice.
Concerned departments can set the speed of driving motor vehicles at any public place if deemed necessary. Similarly, authorities should post or affix a notice or sign relating to the set speed.
“Every vehicle should comply with the set limit. We are installing signs to help drivers and riders be aware of the speed limit in the respective road sections,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rajendra Prasad Bhatta.
SSP Bhatta, who is also the spokesperson for KVTPO, said speed limit for Ring Road and major highways is 50 kmph.
“The speed limit will be reduced to 40 kmph in built-up areas. The limit can even be 10-20 kmph if there are schools and hospitals nearby,” SSP Bhatta added.The step has come at a time when overspeed has been leading to several fatal accidents. “A total of 10,733 road accidents were recorded in the Valley last fiscal year. Among them, over 3,500 accidents were a result of overspeed,” said SSP Bhatta.
In the first three months of the current fiscal year, 8,584 vehicles were penalised for speeding in the Valley.
“We have not conducted awareness classes for speeding. However, now we will. It has been necessary,” said SSP Bhatta.
However, the vehicle operators have shown some reservations toward the provisions of speed limit.
“How will they confirm that a rider breaks the speed limit? How will I know what the speed limit of one or other road section?” questioned Aditya Sharma, a civil engineer, who was having tea with his friends at a tea stall in Tinkune Wednesday morning.
“Similarly, we can hardly speed over 50 kmph even if we want in the Valley roads. Will the authorities ensure that I will reach my destination on time without any traffic congestion if I abided by the speed limit?” Aditya, who rides a motorcycle, continued questioning.
Meanwhile, traffic police officers argued that an individual would reach their destination in time if s/he abided by the speed limit and if they left for the destination in time.
“We do not have enough radar speed guns to monitor speeding vehicles effectively. However, we will utilise our resources to the fullest. We are also installing speed limit signs along the roads to inform the riders/drivers,” said SSP Bhatta.
According to the Section 164 of the Motor Vehicle and Transport Management, 1993, an overspeed rider is fined Rs. 500 for the first time, Rs. 1,000 for the second, and Rs. 1,500 for more than or equal to three times.
Also, the speed limit will not be applied for a fire engine, ambulance and a motor vehicle used for the purpose of transporting patients.
“We have requested higher authorities like the Department of Transport Management, Department of Roads and Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport to install CCTV cameras with speed sensors in major roads like Koteshwor-Balkhu and Koteshwor-Bhaktapur. We must tackle the challenges with available technology,” said SSP Bhatta.
In 2021/22, a total of 26,359 vehicles were penalised for speeding across the country. Similarly, a total of 2,883 deaths were recorded due to traffic accidents and 7,282 were severely injured.
The main contributory factor of these traffic casualties was the negligence of driver, which includes speeding.