The Accident Research Institute (ARI) of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) on Saturday held a roundtable conference on improving road safety and accessibility and how it factors into the manifestos of political parties.
Assistant Professor Kazi Md Shifun Newaz of the ARI noted that 25% of all accidents take place in city roads. Among them, 74% take place in Dhaka city. Furthermore, 73% of all pedestrian traffic accidents take place in the capital as well. He also noted that 72% of all pedestrian fatalities take place on city roads.
The ARI, Buet, and the Road Safety Foundation invited 16 political parties to discuss planning the resolution of disciplines and traffic congestion in the public transport sector.
But only eight national political parties attended, and proceeded to slam the Awami League and BNP for their ostentatious absence.
Awami League Office Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap and BNP Press Wing Official Shairul Kabir both denied receiving any invitations to the conference.
Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said: “The three major parties are not here today. This only highlights how much they care about it. They failed to ensure road safety and that is why they are ashamed to show their faces here today. However, I believe if all political parties equally stress the importance of road safety, we can see major improvements.”
Dr Moazzem Hossain with the ARI was the keynote speaker whose presentation compiled road accident statistics, ways to reduce accidents, road safety methods, road conditions in Bangladesh, and how other countries are doing much better.
Krishok Sramik Janata League president Abdul Kader Siddique said, “The roads are not safe and there are more and more accidents every day. The government is doing nothing to ensure road safety.”