…𝑨𝒏𝒏𝒖𝒂𝒍 𝒓𝒆𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕 2022-2023 𝑹𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒔 126,501 𝒓𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒎𝒐𝒕𝒐𝒓 𝒗𝒆𝒉𝒊𝒄𝒍𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝑩𝒉𝒖𝒕𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝑱𝒖𝒏𝒆 30, 2023
The Police Traffic Division has documented a total of 921 reported accident cases in the country for the current year, out of which 189 have occurred in Thimphu. It’s worth noting that this figure encompasses both minor and major incidents that have been officially registered.
A key contributing factor to accidents involves drivers neglecting their general responsibilities, such as speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, succumbing to distractions while driving, operating a vehicle without a valid license, failing to adhere to pedestrian rules, and encountering issues related to inadequate infrastructure.
The Traffic Division said, “We serve as an enforcement agency. We conduct regular road safety campaigns, raising awareness among drivers. Additionally, we have increased CCTV surveillance, engaged in meetings with stakeholders to enhance infrastructure, and promoted awareness at various levels of society.”
“We perform daily highway checks, extending our vigilance to nighttime as well. Fridays are specifically designated as zero-tolerance days, during which we take rigorous actions against offenses like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and driving without a license. As part of our holistic strategy for road safety, we have introduced sophisticated speed-checking systems capable of accurately assessing adherence to speed limits,” added the Traffic Division.
The Traffic Division further added, “The high-risk zone for accidents is commonly referred to as a black spot area. An illustrative instance is the stretch from Langjophakha to Taba, particularly near Taba Hoka, where a turning point often appears deceptively straight to drivers, resulting in frequent accidents. In an effort to mitigate this recurring issue, we conducted on-site visits to these black spot areas, assessing the situation and identifying effective measures for accident prevention. Subsequently, we implemented strategic interventions, such as the installation of chevron reflectors marking. Since the implementation of these safety measures, there has been a notable reduction in the annual accident rate in this specific area.”
The Traffic Division also addressed accidents occurring on highways, specifically those involving collisions with poles. Emphasizing that such incidents cannot be attributed to the negligence of stakeholders, they clarified that the responsibility lies with the recklessness of drivers.
In response to inquiries regarding new initiatives and policies aimed at enhancing road safety and preventing accidents in the country, the Bhutan Construction and Transport Authority (BCTA) stated, “We have bolstered our enforcement capabilities and provided the traffic department with speed deterrents.”
Furthermore, they highlighted their proactive approach to raising awareness on road safety, recognizing that a significant number of accidents stem from human behaviors. Emphasizing the importance of a shift in mindset, they explained, “Even with adequate infrastructure in place, if the human mindset remains unchanged, accidents will persist. Therefore, through awareness initiatives, we strive to effect a positive change in people’s attitudes toward road safety.”
As per the annual report 2022-2023, Bhutan Construction and Transport Authority, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, “There are a total of 126,501 registered motor vehicles in Bhutan as of June 30, 2023. Out of the total registered vehicles, 65.8% constitute light vehicles followed by 9.7% of heavy vehicles and 1.4% of medium vehicles”.