Thimphu: Cases of motor accidents in Bhutan has increased more than five-fold in the last one decade.
With only 266 road accidents reported in 2000, the number shot up to 1,436 last year. Till date this year, 1,090 incidents have been reported.
The increase in accidents has also seen a corresponding rise in the number of deaths and other casualties.
According to the traffic division of the Royal Bhutan Police, the trend is a serious concern.
Over the past five years, 365 people have lost their lives to motor accidents. On top of that, 2,445 people have been injured.
Accidents in Chhukha dzongkhag this year itself saw 14 deaths followed by Thimphu with 10. Similar incidents in Paro, Trashiyangtse and Mongar claimed five lives each.
This year itself saw 57 deaths and 456 injuries due to motor accidents.
According to the traffic division, most accidents occurred due to people driving under the influence of alcohol and other human errors.
Over the last three years, human errors like speeding, careless driving and drivers getting distracted while driving caused 2,254 accidents.
Driving under the influence of alcohol caused 311 accidents in three years.
Among the total accidents from 2008 till date, 138 were caused by unlicensed drivers.
Mechanical defect of the vehicles have also been one of the major causes, with 169 cases over the last three years.
A total of 389 hit-and-run cases have been recorded with the traffic division in Thimphu between 2008 and 2010.
The superintendent of the traffic division, Major Passang Dorji, told Bhutan TODAY that although the causes of motor accidents are very visible, people still refuse to follow traffic rules.
Approved by the police headquarters, the traffic division will be increasing the highway patrolling to check on drunk-driving and speeding.
The division has divided Thimphu into 11 zones with 16 bikers to monitor every corner of the town area.
“Generally as compared with last year, this year there is decrease in the death cases caused by accidents,” said Major Passang Dorji.
Meanwhile, the World Remembrance Day for Road Accident Victims is being observed today.
About 1.3 million people lose their lives to motor accidents every year.
There are over 49,000 vehicles registered with the Road Safety and Transportation Authority in the country till date.