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Roads turn deadly during Eid rush

  • Published at 02:55 am September 21st, 2016
  • Last updated at 01:35 pm September 21st, 2016
Roads turn deadly during Eid rush
Experts blame reckless driving, unskilled drivers, greed to earn more money, lack of implementation of measures and wrongful investigation into the incidents for the increase in road accidents during the Eid vacations. Around 200 people were killed during the Eid-ul-Fitr this year, but the death toll during the 10-day period of Eid-ul-Azha is likely to reach double, according to Jatri Kallyan Samiti Secretary General Mozammel Haque Chowdhury. At a meeting of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) Sunday, officials said that 122 people were killed in 73 accidents from September 6 to 17. However, Accident Research Institute (ARI) records show that t least 172 people were killed from 76 accidents between September 6 and September 18. It says 70% of the victims are pedestrians or passengers of the vehicles. Dhaka Tribune correspondents reported that at least 17 people lost their lives on Monday. According to the BRTA statistics, the number of accidents and death were decreasing since 1997 till 2006, and had a sharp rise during 2007. It started decreasing later and continued till 2013. But the number has been on the rise in the last two and a half years. BRTA Accident Data Analyst ABM Abu Bakar Siddique quoting statistics provided by the police said that at least 1,422 people were killed from 1,489 accidents during January to July this year or seven people each day. The number number of deaths was 2,376 last year from 2,394 accidents and 2,067 from 2,027 accidents in 2014. During this time, the number of injured was 4,782. As per the information provided by BRTA, 13 people were killed in every two days during 2015 and 11 in 2014. ARI Assistant Prof Kazi Saifun Newaz said that reckless driving by inefficient seasonal drivers, three-wheelers plying on the highways and untimely remedy of black spots were causing the accidents. As a large number of transports ply on the highways during the Eid festival, the seasonal drivers, who might be very efficient on the city streets, find it hard to keep pace with the highway drivers, he observes. Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader recently admitted that the government had failed to control reckless driving. He claimed that 50% of the 144 black spots identified so far had been addressed. Experts say whenever they worked with the government high-ups, the officials were found cordial to solve the menace. But the implementation process has been very poor. Prof Newaz said that the authorities had asked the transport and labour leaders to ensure appointment of skilled drivers months ago. But the directives could not be implemented properly. Moreover, the drivers should be compelled to acquire licence from authorised schools. ARI Director Prof Moazzem Hossain said that to bring the number of accidents down, investigation into the incidents should be done properly and the accused jailed or fined. “Once they face the trial, they will think twice before breaking the laws.” He also suggested that speed measurement devices should be installed on the highways to track the speeding vehicles.