Nothing can be more tragic for a man or a woman than his or her return home dead after going out for some jobs. But the grim reality in the country is that this is happening very frequently as there are death traps everywhere on highways, roads, railway and waterways and even in the locality. Travelling by buses on the highways or vessels on the river routes has become riskiest nowadays as accidents are taking place frequently leaving many dead and wounded.
In the latest incident, at least 18 people including women and children died when a passenger launch capsized in the Sandhya River in Banaripara upazila of Barisal on Wednesday. In the previous night, a couple were killed in their sleep when a speedy passenger bus forced into their slum house at Bahrampur in Rajshahi city. Earlier, 265 people were killed in road-rail-launch accidents during the Eid-ul-Azha season this year.
In fact, travelling is most insecure in the country now. Most of the road accidents take place due to reckless driving of the vehicles and dilapidated condition of the roads. Faulty highways, poorly maintained vehicles and drivers' disregard for traffic rules are responsible for most of the fatalities. A study revealed that over 12,000 people die in road accidents in Bangladesh every year, making the country's highways among the deadliest in the world. The situation in the waterways also is not better anyway.
Painfully enough, besides those killed in the accidents, thousands of passengers are left crippled for life and turned into burdens to themselves, the families and the society.
The frequent accidents and deaths of huge passengers every year show that our arrangements for protecting human lives during journey are not effective enough. The numbers of accidents and deaths thereby are on the rise. This is an alarming situation and the measures taken by the authorities to check this trend is quite inadequate. The government should take effective steps to stop accidents on roads, highways and river routes. To this end, immediate steps should be taken to improve the condition of the roads, strengthen the highway and river policing, enforce the traffic rules strictly, stop plying of the faulty vehicles and severely punish those responsible for the accidents. Besides, compensation should be paid to the victims of all accidents. l