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1 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Road accidents

259 killed during Eid holidays

Staff Reporter

Student-led protests for safe drive seem to have made hardly any impact as 259 people were killed during this year’s Eid-ul-Adha holidays. The Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Association (BPWA), which keeps track of road accidents, yesterday said at least 259 people were killed and 960 injured in 237 road accidents in 13 days (August 16-28) during the Eid holidays. Besides, 15 people were killed and seven others injured in rail accidents during the same period. At the same time, four people were killed and 68 sustained injuries in separate accidents on waterways. Eight others remained missing.

Vacationers started leaving for their village homes from August 16 as the Eid-ul-Azha was held on August 22. The return journey started a day after the Eid, while most people returned to work by

August 28. The BPWA released the figures at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity auditorium yesterday. The report is based on news reports published by various media, regional newspapers and online news portals.

According to its report, the number of accidents dipped by 14.44 per cent compared to Eid-ul-Fitr, thanks to the efforts made by police, RAB, BRTA and various government agencies.

Mozammel Haque Chowdhury, secretary general, Jatri Kalyan Samity, said 274 people were killed and 848 injured in 205 accidents during last year’s Eid-ul-Adha.

 Mozammel Hoque said the rate of accident fell by 14.44 per cent, death 23.59 per cent and injuries 24.11 per cent compared to Eid al-Fitr. However, 13.50 per cent of the deaths and 11.67 per cent injuries increased compared to last year’s Eid ul-Adha

Mozammel Chowdhury said on August 16, 10 were killed, 46 wounded in 13 incidents, on August 17, 15 people died and 85 injured in 21 incidents. During the 13-day period, most of the accidents took place on August 20. On that day, 30 people died and 100 injured in 30 accidents.

Statistics show that 29.18 per cent of buses, 23.6 per cent of trucks and covered vans, 6.6 per cent of Nashimon-Karimon, 5.9 per cent of battery-operated rickshaws, 11.15 per cent of auto rickshaw, 6.9 per cent of motorcycles, 9.16 per cent of other vehicles were involved in the accidents.

Former caretaker government adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman, former BRTA chairman Ayubur Rahman Khan and lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua were present at the press conference.

Hossain Zillur Rahman said ‘lack of accountability’ was the main problem behind all these mishaps.

“Accidents happen in every country of the world. But we talk more about road accidents here because we’ve had some such incidents that could have been averted if we are aware,” he added.

Hossain Zillur Rahman said two ministers hold top position in the Transport Owners and Workers Association and they are the policy makers in Bangladesh. “They are also the representatives of both the owners and workers.

 The conflict of interest lies at the root of the negativity about accountability,” he added.

The association has made a 10-point recommendation to reduce road accidents and deaths on roads and highways. The BPWA says among the reasons of road mishaps are carrying passengers on unfit vehicles, driving vehicles by minors and inexpert helpers, battery-operated rickshaws, Nasimon-Karimon and freight movement violating traffic rules, reckless driving, absence of footpaths beside highways, dismal conditions of roads and highways.

To ensure road safety, the BPWA suggested stringent action against errant drivers. The association said the government should open training centres to create skilled drivers, make regular audit of road safety, stop charging extra fare during festivals, make arrangement of different lanes for slow-moving and fast-moving vehicles, implement the government’s decision to stop Nasimon and Karimon, battery-operated rickshaws, auto-rickshaws on highways, take initiative to stop movement of unfit vehicles/risky vehicles, provide underpasses/overpasses for pedestrians and provide quality public transport.

Mozammel Chowdhury said, “We’ve been demanding for a long time separate service lanes for small vehicles on highways because it’s very dangerous to let these vehicles ply along with high-speed large buses and trucks.”

He added: “There seems to be no end in sight to road accidents. Drivers are still driving recklessly without paying any heed to passengers’ concerns.”

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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