Ice makes highway prone to accident

Seven vehicles damaged in less than an hour

Accident: Those hitting the Thimphu-Paro highway early yesterday were taken by surprise when a stretch of road near the Khasadrapchu town was covered in ice overnight making the road prone to accident.

In less than an hour, seven vehicles suffered damages after four collided from skidding and hit three another parked along the roadside.

According to the traffic police division, the icy road condition had led to the accidents that occurred between 6.55am to 7.30am. No injuries or casualties were reported. On being informed, the traffic police division immediately informed police personnel at Chunzom check post and Khasadrapchu to caution drivers of the highway’s condition.

Traffic policemen were then deployed before and after the accident site who verbally cautioned drivers on the highway.

Traffic police officials said that water from the fields above the road had blocked the storm drain along the roadside sending water on the road. The freezing temperature turned the water into ice.

The mishap also lead to an emergency meeting between police, project DANTAK, department of roads (DoR), Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) officials and the Khasadrapchu tshogpa to discuss preventive measures.

Police officials said that project DANTAK had agreed to monitor the road condition at night while the tshogpa was asked to initiate frequent cleaning of the drainage.

The officer in command of the traffic police division, Kencho Tshering said that most drivers tend to over speed on highways and lose control when the road condition is bad. “In winters, drivers should be mindful of the road condition and be more cautious,” he said. “Such accidents can be avoided if drivers are cautious and don’t over speed.”

The chief of police Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel said that discussions are on with the agencies concerned.

The RSTA, according to Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel, should put up precautionary signboards before the slippery area to caution drivers. The police chief also sought department of road’s intervention to find out whether the water seepage was from the houses located above the roadside, which is preventable.

“It is a concern and drivers should be aware and they should drive cautiously,” Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel said.

Kinga Dema

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