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18 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Death comes travelling on highways in Eid holidays

Road crashes kill 230 on average each Eid week: ARI research
Staff Reporter, Dhaka
Death comes travelling on highways in Eid holidays

The country’s highways and roads turn into veritable death traps for travelers during the Eid holidays due to reckless driving and the uncompromising mindset of transport owners.

According to data by the Accident Research Institute (ARI) of BUET, 230 people on an average have been killed during the last seven Eids, including both Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-azha.

The ARI data is based on a seven-day period—from three days before Eid to three days after— during each festival.

The data revealed that 1,613 people were killed in road accidents during the last seven Eid holidays.

During Eid-ul-fitr this year, 172 road accidents were reported and 216 people had died. Among these accidents, 50 took place before Eid and 122 after. As many as 72 people had died before Eid and the number doubled to 144 after the festival, the ARI data said.

However, data by the Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Association (BPWA)—which keeps track of road accidents—said at least 259 people were killed and 960 injured in 237 road accidents during the Eid-ul-fitr holidays this year.

During Eid-ul-Azha this year, the scenario was pretty much the same. The day the Eid vacation started last Thursday, 25 people were killed on that day.

Experts said there were several reasons why the highways and roads were prone to fatalities during the Eid holidays.

Dr Shamsul Haque, former director of ARI, told The Independent that before Eid, vehicular speed on the highways remains slow because of long tailbacks. Also, vigilance by the highway police is high, thereby preventing road accidents, even though the roads and highways witness the highest amount of traffic during that time of the year.

But after Eid, the scenario becomes quite different, he said. As there is not that much traffic on the road, the drivers don’t watch their speed limit and drive with the intention to make as many trips as possible to earn extra bucks. “Due to this intention of the drivers,

the roads become a dangerous place,” he added.

Another major reason behind the increasing number of road fatalities before and after Eid is the fatigue of long-distance drivers as well as of other transport workers.

Most of the drivers, helpers and conductors don’t get any rest during the Eid holidays

because of the huge rush of passengers. The transport owners also barely give the transport workers any leave during these days, which takes a heavy toll on them, Haque said. According to a study by the Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies (BILS), a total of 784 workers had died in workplace-related accidents in 2018. Among them, 307 had died in accidents in the transport sector. In 2017, the respective numbers were 699 and 248, indicating an increase in the number of such deaths.

Haque said unless there was a change in the mentality of the transport owners and massive awareness about road fatalities during Eid holidays was created, the number of road accidents will not reduce.

 

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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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