National roads and highways unsafe for Motorcycles

It is not safe to ride motorcycles on the roads of Bhutan. And this piece of warning comes from the people who are designated experts when it comes to roads.

Also, while this debate comes to light only just now at home as to whether a motorcyclist is exposed to more danger than a person driving a vehicle on four wheels, according to a study it states that a motorcyclist is 26 times more likely to die in an accident.

According to Karma Pemba, Chief Transport Officer of Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) a motorcycle is not more dangerous to ride than driving a car, however they are more dangerous to crash than a car.

Nit-picking features and differentiating between two wheelers and the four wheelers, the cars, the Chief Transport Officer said “a car is stable and protection rate is higher since the body of the car protects a person from getting injured during the time of an accident while with no body protection for the bikes, one can easily get injured during collision with other vehicles”.

Going by live instances, this year, two non-nationals were killed on the spot when the motorbike they were on met with an accident in Lhamoizingkha, under Dagana.

The bike was moving behind the truck when suddenly the truck stopped and it banged against the back side of the truck. While making a turn, it crushed both the passengers and the driver of the bike killing them instantly and on the spot.

The incident indicates that if it was a car instead of a bike the two lives would have been saved but since it was a bike, the death was sudden.

The bikes have advantage plus disadvantage, during summer it’s fashionable to drive around the city and the fact doesn’t hurt that it is also comparatively affordable for the middle class family. But in the winter it is not possible to ride the harsh wintry weather and its winds.

Karma Pemba also said “driving motorcycles is a challenge in Bhutan due to the road scenario like narrow sharp turns and off late roads being widen up.”

The licenses for the two-wheeler are also similar to other licenses. Traffic rules are said to be same for the two wheelers as well as for other vehicles.

The trend of riding two wheelers such as motor bikes, scooters etc. was once popular in Thimphu, the capital city and the country in general due to its cost and also when the cars were not so popular in Bhutan but the numbers have come down today.

According to the Chief Transport Officer the trend has decreased due to introduction of more cars in Bhutan.

However going by the sales records, every year a maximum of 200 plus bikes are sold out as told to The Bhutanese by the manager Lobzang, 22 of Druk Tshongkhang which deals with bikes.

Sales and market scenario of motorcycles in the Capital

A dealer in motorcycles, Druk Tshongkhang’s Manager Lobzang said more than 200 Pulsar bikes are being sold in a year from Phuentsholing and Thimphu showrooms.

The price of the Pulsar is around Nu 73,000.

While this year the business is been slightly down ever since there was a ban in import for about seven months and we could have exceeded more than 200, Manager Lobzang said.

For the Royal Enfield, one of the more expensive bikes which cost around Nu 131,000 to 200,000 which started to showcase ever since July this year, about 37 bikes has been sold out.

These days the numbers of two-wheelers have gone down according to the sales records. The reasons are mainly because of the easy access to loan and availability of cheap cars, he added.

Manager Lobzang said the business is good during summer seasons while average sale during winter is less because of cold.

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