Following a series of road accidents in the country in recent weeks and months, the government has decided to introduce new rules for issuing licenses to drivers of public transport vehicles.
According to the new regulations endorsed by a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, any applicant for a driving license for public transport vehicles must be above 25 years of age. The earlier minimum age was 21 years.
It has been found that in recent years most road accidents involving public transport vehicles have taken place when younger drivers are at the wheel.
As per the new rules introduced by the government, it is also mandatory for applicants for public transport driving licenses to have passed grade 10. Hitherto, even applicants who can only just read and write have been getting their licenses after clearing a driving test.
Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Bimalendra Nidhi, said that the ministry has decided to introduce the new rules in view of the increasing number of road accidents in recent days.
“We decided on the new rules on the basis of recent findings that 70 percent of road accidents involving public transport vehicles take place due to driver negligence,” Nidhi told Republica.
- 25 years of age, grade 10 schooling mandatory
- Completion of two years as light-vehicle driver
- Maximum age 59 for new license applicants
Applicants for public transport driving licenses must also have at least two years of experience driving lighter vehicles, the minister informed. Similarly, the applicants must also go through an on-road-driving-test.
Similarly, Thursday´s Cabinet meeting formed a five-member taskforce headed by the Secretary at MoPIT, Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, to find out the reasons for the increasing number of road accidents and come up with some solutions.
The taskforce is to submit its report within 15 days.
Emerging from the Cabinet meeting, Minister for Law and Justice Narhari Acharya informed media persons that the committee will start its work soon.
An additional inspector general of police and joint secretaries from the Ministry of Law and Ministry of Home Affairs will be members of the taskforce while the director general of the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) will be member-secretary.
The taskforce is to do its work in three phases. In the first phase, the taskforce will work for the effective implementation of existing laws relating to public transport across the country. In the second phase, it will submit an interim report within seven days, suggesting to the government necessary measures for curbing road accidents. The taskforce will submit its final report in the last phase.
However, the new rules are silent with regard to private vehicles.
The Cabinet meeting also decided to accept a bilateral development assistance of Rs 12.83 billion received from China.
In other decisions, the meeting appointed Ganga Timalsena as general manager at the Dairy Development Corportion (DCC), Dharma Raj Adhikari as chief of the National Seed Company Limited and Amar Raj Khair as chief of Agriculture Inputs Company Limited. The Cabinet has also promoted 13 lieutenant-colonels of the Nepal Army, including Rajan KC, to the rank of colonel.
The meeting has also decided to declare sugarcane as the national crop.
The government likewise decided to bear all the medical expenses of culture expert Satya Mohan Joshi. Joshi has been undergoing treatment at Vayodha Hospital, Balkhu since the past few days.