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‘Strong road safety laws essential to make roads safe’

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 21 November, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Strong road safety laws are essentials in the country to make the roads safer for people as a large number of people lose their lives and suffer injuries in road accidents every day, health experts said. 

They said the roads must be made safe while adoption of strong road safety laws is urgent according to the safety strategy set by the United Nations. Such steps can save a huge number of lives lost to road accidents in the country every day, they said.

The experts came up with the statement while addressing a seminar organised by Bangladesh Orthopaedic Society and National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh at NITOR on Sunday.

The programme was organised on the occasion of 'World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims'. The day was observed in Bangladesh like other countries of the world, with various programmes under the initiative of Road Safety Coalition Bangladesh.

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is observed globally on the third Sunday of November every year in memory of road crash victims. This year the theme of the day is – Remember, Support and Act.

On the occasion of the day, a procession was brought out from the National Institute of Traumatology & Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) in the morning to demand safer roads. Road accident victims, their family members and people from various walks of life participated in the procession. 

 After the procession, a seminar was organised in the auditorium of NITOR with its director Professor Abdul Gani Mollah in the chair.

Manjuli Kazi, wife of prominent journalist and photo director Mishuk Munier who died in a road crash, was present as the chief guest in the seminar. She said it is possible to make the road safe if the road safety law is implemented properly. But the law is still not being implemented. “A group is against implementation of the law because it will hamper their business,” Manjuli Kazi said. 

Prof Khandkar Abdul Awal (Rizvi), former director of NITOR and Secretary General of National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh, said to make the roads safe, various long-term, mid-term and short-term action plans are needed.

“Bringing order to the streets of Dhaka is the first priority and we have the necessary manpower for this. In this way, problems should be solved one by one,” he added.

In-Country Coordinator of Global Health Advocacy Incubator Dr Shariful Alam said to make the roads safe, the guidelines made by the United Nations must be implemented. These are safe road, safe vehicle, safe road users, post-crash management and ensuring safe environment for drivers.

In the seminar, Nikhil Bhadra, a victim of a road crash, said those injured in a road crash have to bear the burden for the rest of their lives. But those whose financial condition is not good, the situation is direr. The state, society needs to take some responsibility for these injured.

Delivering welcome speech, Secretary of Bangladesh Orthopaedic Society Professor Dr Jahangir Alam said road crashes have become a public health issue in Bangladesh.

He said a strong road safety law needs to be enacted to stop this procession of deaths on the roads.

According to the World Health Organisation, about 25,000 people lost their lives and more than 300,000 were disabled in road crashes in Bangladesh in 2016.

Members of Bangladesh Orthopaedic Society, National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Road Safety Coalition were present in the seminar.