Thursday, 29 May 2008

Over speeding on Thimphu-Paro highway raises concern

May 28: Carelessness and over speeding have been cited as the leading cause of vehicle accidents. If that is so, accidents are likely to increase especially on the Thimphu-Paro highway.

After the widening of the Thimphu-Paro highway, motorists are reported to drive at break neck speed.

The Thimphu-Paro highway is now wider and straighter. It is a pleasure cruising along this relatively straight wide road. But for many motorists, it is where they try to outperform Michael Schumacher. They drive at break neck speed.

The signboard says the speed limit is 40 kilometers per hour. Not many are paying heed to this sign board. Many would not have even read the signboard driving ad they are at 70 to 80 kilometers per hour.

Motorists who drive between Thimphu and Paro frequently say the speed limit should be increased. They said the speed limit even on narrower single lane road is 40 kilometers per hour.

Officials from the Road Safety and Transport Authority said they have discussed the matter with concerned agencies. They said once the speed limit is fixed then they would be able to implement and monitor the speed.

The Department of Roads said the speed limit of 60 kilometer per hour could be allowed only between Chuzom and Isuna because this stretch of road is straighter. They said in other areas, though the road is wider, it would be dangerous to increase the speed limit to 60 kilometers due to the numerous turnings. They said there should be different speed limits at different sections of the road.

Meanwhile traffic police said they don’t have control over the Babesa-Paro highway because the road is still not officially open and the finishing touches are being laid. However they said because of the sharp turnings, it would be risky to drive above at 40 to 50 kilometers per hour.

The traffic division said they are now monitoring the speed on the Thimphu-Babesa Expressway with the use of speed guns.

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