No matter whether there is a pandemic or not, one reason remained active for causing deaths of people --- road accidents.
Though the government declared a lockdown from April 5, public transport was suspended on April 14. But that couldn’t stop accidents on roads.According to road transport experts, the number of road accidents has reduced a bit but the rate of accidents compared to the number of transports on roads remains alarming.
According to Road Safety Foundation, around 332 accidents took place in the country since the beginning of lockdown and a total of 397 people were killed in these accidents.
Some 165 people were killed in motorcycle accidents during this time. About 503 people were killed in 409 accidents in March this year.
Asked about the reasons for a rise in road accidents fatalities, Road Safety Foundation executive director Saidur Rahman said, “The government has not taken necessary steps to prevent road accidents. It seems that the government has no plan in this regard.”
“We have good laws which are not being implemented properly. If the government focuses more on implementation of laws, the number of accidents would drop,” he added.
Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity said that a total of 418 accidents took place in April in the country and around 451 people were killed in these accidents.According to them, more than 38 per cent of these accidents are related to motorcycles.
Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity secretary general Mozammel Hoque Chowdhury said, “Operation of small vehicles continued during the lockdown. Actually, small vehicles are more prone to accidents than big vehicles. That is why the number of accidents has not decreased much.”
“We, along with other organisations, have submitted recommendations to the government to prevent accidents on roads. The government had accepted those and assured us to work based on those but we didn’t see any such initiatives later,” he added.
Speed in vehicular movements has risen on roads due to infrastructural development but there
are no visible steps to control the speed or ensure the safety of the commuters, opined the road transport experts.
They have blamed reckless driving, dilapidated roads, unfit vehicles, unskilled drivers, using mobile phones while driving vehicles, and lack of awareness among road users as the main reasons behind the incessant fatalities.