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24 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Alarming rise in road accidents

Alarming rise in road accidents

The grisly parade of deaths on the streets and highways of the country is continuing unabated. Every day people are getting killed and maimed on our roads. On Saturday seven people were killed in a road accident in Barishal. People seem to have accepted the reality that people who go out of home for different reasons have to do so with the knowledge that some of them will never return because of traffic accidents.  The country has one of the highest road accident fatality rates in the world, with more than 85 deaths for every 10,000 registered motor vehicles. That is around 50 times higher than the rate in most developed countries.

Hence to say that the roads in Bangladesh are deadly would only be stating the obvious.  Unfortunately road traffic injuries, while are a major health problem of the country is often a neglected issue. Interestingly case studies in Bangladesh have found that poor families are more likely than those better off to lose their head of household and suffer immediate economic effects as a result of road traffic injuries. The loss of earnings, together with medical, funeral and legal bills, can have a ruinous effect on a family's finances.

   Determining who is at fault at the scene of an accident is basically a matter of figuring out which person was careless, negligent or disobeyed a traffic law. A pedestrian (or a jaywalker) must not just assume that a car will see them when crossing the street and it is only the responsibility of the drivers to slow down and be watchful. Accidents caused by pedestrians crossing roads illegally should be the pedestrians' responsibility, and they should be convicted of endangering public safety.

Majority of road users in Bangladesh, including both motorists and pedestrians, lacks traffic sense, leading to frequent road accidents across the urban areas of the country. Some research evidence indicates that the human element (by both drivers and pedestrians) is responsible for 80 to 85 per cent of all traffic accidents. It is relatively easy to get a driving license in Bangladesh using dubious means. Naturally there are many people who drive on the streets without having any right to do so. Bangladesh has one of the lowest conviction rates of errant drivers. There must be increasing awareness about road safety among road users, planners and engineers. The authorities should think about building separate non-motorised traffic and motorcycle lanes to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.

 

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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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