Friday, 21 January, 2022

Overcoming road safety challenge

Overcoming road safety challenge

Each and every day, road traffic accidents occur across the country. There is no respite from the horrific incidents. In recent times, road crashes have reached an epidemic level. In the first eight months of the ongoing year, 3,502 people were killed and 3,479 others sustained injuries in 3,701 road accidents. The figures came out in a report published by the Bangladesh Police itself. However, road safety organisations like Jatri Kalyan Samity claim the numbers to be higher. According to relevant sources, deaths from road mishaps are the seventh top cause of death for Bangladeshis.

International agencies have painted a worse picture of the country's road safety situation. A statistic by the World Life Expectancy based on information from 183 countries puts Bangladesh in 106th position for having the most road crash-related deaths. A report printed yesterday on this newspaper's Metro Page informed that eight people, including a foreigner, were killed and several others injured in road accidents in five districts on Friday. While writing this editorial yesterday, another report of the death of a private university student in a city road crash reached us.

In the wake of deaths of students in road crashes, students have been demonstrating on city streets for past few days demanding road safety and half bus fare. Although the issue of half bus fare was settled by the authorities concerned, but, ironically, Jatri Kalyan Samity secretary general Md Mozammel Huq Chowdhury in an interview with a prominent vernacular daily revealed that bus drivers refrain from stopping their vehicles when they find students and they are reluctant to take them. Students are our sons and daughters. So, people from all walks of life should play their due role so that they get fair treatment from transport workers.

Road accident death is a public concern as the country's streets are unsafe for all, not only for students. People from all strata of society should show sympathy towards them. On Friday, they announced a new campaign of showing 'red card' demanding safe roads, a challenge indeed! We should overcome the challenge collectively through concerted efforts.