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Dhaka Tribune

25,000 lives lost in road accidents every year

  • 51% of road accident victims are earners 
  • E-traffic system may reduce road accidents by 80%
Update : 22 Oct 2023, 01:06 PM

Approximately 25,000 lives are lost in road accidents every year in Bangladesh, based on recent data revealed by the Bangladesh Jatri Kallayn Samiti. 

Every day, an average of 64 individuals lose their lives in road accidents across the country, resulting in an annual death toll of nearly 25,000 people. Notably, 51% of these victims are earners, highlighting the economic implications of these incidents. The World Health Organization estimates that these accidents account for a significant 5.3% loss of Bangladesh's GDP.

The Bangladesh Jatry Kallayn Samiti, an organization dedicated to road safety, advocates for the implementation of an e-traffic system to combat this trend. According to their findings, the introduction of an e-traffic system has the potential to reduce road accidents by 80%.

To address the issue, the organization has presented a list of six demands, including prompt compensation for individuals affected by road accidents, whether injured or the families of those who lost their lives.

Md Mozammel Haque Chowdhury, secretary general of the Bangladesh Jatry Kallayan Samiti, emphasized the need for change during a recent press conference held on National Safe Road Day, under the theme "Demand for compensation to all citizens injured in road accidents according to road laws and regulations."

Chowdhury pointed out the lack of research programs and visible initiatives to prevent road accidents, despite the existence of the Road Safety Unit within the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and the Ministry of Road Transport. Even with a substantial budget of Tk30-35,000 crores allocated annually, there is no specific allocation for the prevention of road accidents.

The Bangladesh Jatry Kallayan Samiti further noted a stark contrast between Bangladesh's road accident statistics and global averages. While the global average for road accident deaths in a nation is approximately 8,000 people annually, the health department reports a daily average of 64 deaths on the roads in Bangladesh, totaling around 24,000 fatalities each year.

Tragically, road accidents not only claim lives but also leave hundreds of thousands of people injured, with about 80,000 sustaining disabilities every year. Among these, over 12,000 are children under the age of 17, adding to the toll.

The World Health Organization's global report estimates that 1.3 million people die in road accidents worldwide every year, with 24,954 fatalities reported in Bangladesh. A majority of these victims, approximately 67%, are aged between 15 and 64, with those between 15 and 49 years facing the highest risk of death.

While the government's road safety efforts are in question, the Bangladesh Jatry Kallayan Samiti is urging immediate action to address the road accident crisis. They emphasize that the introduction of an e-traffic system and the swift resolution of road accident cases, investigations, and trials are pivotal in reducing accidents. Installing a nationwide CCTV camera system and setting clear guidelines for drivers' working hours and salaries are also considered essential steps toward achieving road safety.

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