Thursday, 29 September, 2022

Time to bring down road mishaps

Eid always brings joy for the country's Muslim citizens. The just concluded Eid-ul-Azha is not an exception as it brought an opportunity for busy residents of Dhaka city to visit their village homes in different districts. But Eid journey is not always a pleasant one; rather it is full of hassles. The holidaymakers travel by buses, trains, ferries and other modes of public and private transports to reach their destinations. The tedious journey is not always safe for them.  They face frequent accidents on the way. Lots of people die in these accidents, while many others turn maimed. As per reports learnt from both electronic and print media, till yesterday, 45 people lost their lives in road crashes in 18 districts, including the capital.

At least 376 people were killed in road mishaps across the country during past Eid-ul-Fitr holidays. This time, overall road accidents dropped significantly. As per a disclosure of the secretary general of Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity, the prime reason behind the fall in road crashes was the ban on the inter-district movement of motorcycles. We thank the government for taking the timely step. However, there is still scope for bringing down death toll much more. Bad roads, drivers' unhealthy competition for overtaking vehicles, plying of unfit vehicles by drivers having no license and their reluctance to follow the traffic rules are mainly to be blamed for fatal road accidents.

The official ban on motorbikes on the highways resulted in high demand for public transport before and after Eid. Taking advantage of the demand and lax law enforcement, many unfit vehicles and buses without route permits carried people across the country. As per reports, many of the unfit vehicles broke down in the middle of the roads causing accidents. But no visible action was taken to check it. Even the Road Transport and Bridges Minister admitted that flawed management and lack of coordination were to blame for the incidents. We ask the authorities to rectify their ways of action and, at the same time, to enforce laws strictly to bring down the number of mishaps and casualties. It is time for the government to act.