Monday, 24 January, 2022

Don’t take law into own hands after road accidents: PM

‘Schools must assign staff to help students cross roads’

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked all concerned not to take law in own hands after road accidents, calling for maintaining traffic rules to check the road mishaps. Don’t take law in hand. Accident is an accident. It can be found out later who is responsible for that, she said while opening the four uplift schemes, joining virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence.

The law enforcing agencies would look into the matter and find out who is responsible for the mishap and take necessary legal action, she said.

Referring to the incidents of lynching drivers to death in different times by pedestrians, the premier said getting fear of being lynched, the drivers try to flee the scene by rough driving after ramming into a person, resulting in his tragic death, reports agencies.

I call upon all to give time to find out why the accident occurred, what reason was behind it and who was responsible for that, she said.

The prime minister asked the pedestrians not to cross the road or railway tracks talking over mobile phone or to pass the road hurriedly.

She said the educational institutions up to higher secondary level must assign their own staff to make sure their students cross roads safely.

“Though traffic police will be there to help them, the school authorities must be careful and their own staff will have to be there so that students can cross roads safely…I think our Education Ministry can issue a directive to the schools ---from primary to higher secondary levels—in this regard,” the premier said. She also urged all to maintain traffic rules including use of foot over bridges and underpasses while crossing the roads.

Among the development schemes under the Roads and Highways Division, a pedestrian underpass was constructed on Dhaka-Airport Highway as part of the prime minister’s pledge following the deaths of two school students in a road accident near Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School and College on July 29 in 2018.

Sheikh Hasina asked the education ministry to issue an order for authorities concerned of all schools to develop a safe and secured system in helping their children cross the road by their own men during their opening and closing times.

The prime minister also stressed the need for educating students about the traffic rules and necessity of maintaining the rules from the primary level of education.

The newly constructed uplift projects which were opened by the premier today are the pedestrian underpass adjoining Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School and College on Dhaka-Airport Highway, Sylhet Town Bypass-Garrison Link 4 Highway, Balukhali (Cox’s Bazar) - Ghundhum (Bandarban) Boundary Link Road, a 500 metre bridge on the Chengi river at Naniarchar in Rangamati district.

The country’s first box pushing underpass with having lift and moving  staircases was built at a cost of Tk 57.43 crore while Sylhet Town Bypass-Garrison Link 4 Highway at Tk 274 crore, Balukhali (Cox’s Bazar) - Ghundhum  (Bandarban) Boundary Link Road at Tk 78.85 crore, the 500 metre bridge on the  Chengi river at Naniarchar in Rangamati district, the largest bridge in the Chattogram Hill Tracks area, at Tk 227.61 crore Bangladesh Army’s 24 and 34 engineering construction brigade supervised the  development schemes After inaugurating the projects, Sheikh Hasina said, With opening the four development schemes, we are marching ahead to implement our pledges to the grassroots people to turn Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country as envisioned by the Father of the Nation.

She added that the development schemes would pave the way of boosting trade and business and make people’s communication easy alongside contributing to decrease the nagging traffic snarl and road accidents.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, local public representatives, high civil and military officials were connected to the programmes from the respective sites. Chief of Army Staff General S M Shafiuddin Ahmed spoke on the occasion while PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus moderated it.

Road Transport and Highways Division Secretary Md. Nazrul Islam gave a brief description about the four development projects while Engineer-in-chief of Bangladesh Army Major General Ibne Fazal Shayekhuzzaman also spoke.

Sheikh Hasina asked all concerned to strictly follow the rules in issuing driving licenses, stressing the need for imparting necessary training to the drivers to enhance their efficiency. The use of motor vehicles is on the rise, she said, adding that there is a lack of skilled drivers in the country for which the government has taken initiatives to train up fresh drivers up to Upazila level However, she asked the drivers not to hand over the steering of the vehicles to their helpers who have no competency to drive heavy vehicles, saying, It’s a crime.

The prime minister said that her government has been constructing rest houses for the drivers of long-distance vehicles on different highways and two rest houses have already been constructed in Cumilla and Sirajganj.

She came up with the opinion that if the pedestrians and drivers remain cautious on the roads and maintain traffic rules, the number of accidents would largely decline.

Sheikh Hasina said that her government has been working tirelessly to keep the road and highways safe and free from traffic congestion.

To reduce the road accidents, she said they have taken protective measures in all 209 black spots or accident-prone areas on roads and highways listed by the government during 2010-12 across the country.

Later, the 252 black spots were identified on national and regional highways, she said, adding that protective steps have been taken in 172 spots while measures are being adopted in the rest 80 others.