The decision came at an urgent meeting of the government monitoring committee on road safety held at the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) head office in Dhaka yesterday.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader presided over the meeting. He said: “The monitoring committee has already identified the causes of frequent road accidents. The main reason behind the accidents during the Eid days are speeding for additional trips and reckless driving.”
He mentioned that the drivers were not following the highest speed limit of 80km/hour set by the government for highways. “The transport owners and workers organisations are yet to address the causes behind road accidents.
“So we have directed the transport owners and workers organisations to find out the reasons behind the accidents and submit a report within a week after discussing with the transport companies and drivers who are responsible for the accidents,” the minister said, adding that the transport owners and workers can identify the reasons properly and solve the issues.
Bus-Truck Owners Association President Faruk Talukder Sohel who was present at the meeting said that they had some limitations. “But we will investigate the incidents and submit the report within the scheduled time.”
He mentioned speeding and lack of skilled drivers as the key reasons behind the frequent road accidents.
BRTA Chairman Md Nazrul Islam moderated the meeting. He said that around 73 accidents occurred during September 9-17 in which 122 people died.
However, the figure is 157 reported by several news agencies.
The minister claimed that the condition of the highways were better than the past. “But the people are being killed on the roads like birds. Around 150 people have been killed so far. We need to take integrated initiatives to stop accidents.”
Rights activist and columnist Sayed Abul Maksud said that it would have created huge impact had the 150 people died in cholera or any disease. “But road accidents have become so commonplace that we are now accustomed with the menace. We have to prevent further road accidents considering the woes of the victims and their families.”
Prominent actor Ilias Kanchon, who has long been working for road safety, said that at least two drivers who were behind the recent accidents had been drunk while driving.
“Most of the drivers are not aware of the road safety issues. So, at first, we need to train them up properly to avoid road accidents,” he added.