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Roads of death

  • Published at 12:04 am July 7th, 2019
Road Accident
Photo: RAJIB BHAR

This simply cannot be allowed to go on

In spite of widespread protests and promises of reform, our road fatality statistics remain as grim as ever.

According to a new report based upon various news sources, in the first half of this year alone, at least 2,329 people were killed in road accidents, and a further 4,361 were injured.

Once again, this brings to light the appalling condition of our roads and highways, as well as policies, which allow such tragedies to take place at such alarming frequencies.

The Shipping and Communication Reporters Forum, the platform which carried out the study, identified a number of reasons behind our high road accident numbers, including reckless driving, employing drivers without licenses, lack of awareness among pedestrians and drivers of small vehicles, and a tendency to overload vehicles and overtake in violation of the rules.

Over-taking and speeding are two tendencies which are, regrettably, ingrained habits of the average Bangladesh motorist, and it is of utmost importance that drivers are made to unlearn such habits, or face consequences.

Because at the heart of the problem lies the fact that bad drivers are, time and again, allowed to get away with impunity, and no matter how many lives are lost, nothing changes because errant drivers are not compelled to change their ways.

This simply cannot be allowed to go on.

As Bangladesh marches towards its economic goals, the government must remember that safe roads and highways are an absolutely crucial part of development -- new bridges, highways, and mega projects will mean nothing if people continue to die on the road at this rate.