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15 November, 2020 07:08:54 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 16 November, 2020 07:10:37 PM

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How to minimize road accidents

The roads have improved, the number of foot over bridges has increased and many fly-overs have been constructed to avert traffic load on the roads that should contribute to smooth communications across the country. But road accidents situation unfortunately have not improved.
Alaul Alam
How to minimize road accidents

In recent times the rise of road crashes has become alarming. Dailies and electronic media expose many tragic incidents of road crashes at different parts of the country.

Many see these incidents as usual as they go through their daily activities. Truly, the developing nations are bearing the brunt of road casualties most as they undergo irreparable loss of lives and economy.

Road fatalities take a heavy toll for the countries such as India, China, Bangladesh and some countries of Africa, but lower rates of road deaths and road injuries can be found in the developed world. It is estimated that 74 percent of road traffic deaths occur in middle-income countries and the situation may be even worse in low income countries.

According to the report of a road safety movement, road accidents have risen sharply in 2019 with at least 5,227 deaths in 4,702 accidents whereas 4,439 deaths in 3,103 road accidents in 2018. Last year, buses, trucks and covered vans contributed to 47 per cent of the accidents while 23 per cent involved motorcyclists.

Around one-fourth accidents in Bangladesh occur on city roads. How selfish these city drivers are! How time conscious they are! You may be surprised to see their driving skills as soon as the traffic signal goes green and allows vehicles to run again. At this time they are found to run in the race making every effort to take over others.

However, the causes of road accidents may be many but some common reasons are illiterate and unskilled drivers, faulty vehicles and roads, poor traffic management, reckless driving and carelessness of the commuters, etc.

Obviously, things may go more out of control if drivers’ misdoings are unaddressed. For example, you may commonly find in cities that drivers stop their vehicles at the traffic signal grasping the left lane though they wish to go along. This is certainly an offence but do they get punished for their intentional wrongdoing?

On top of that, many drivers hardly understand digital traffic signals. It is commonly observed that sometimes drivers hand over the steering to their helpers which may lead to drastic accidents.

Also for a couple of years the desperate drives of motor-bike riders are found across the cities and the number of motor bikes has grown significantly for passenger-ride sharing services. As they are operated for business purpose, bikers drive desperately risking their own life along with passengers. It seems that time matters the more than life.

Undoubtedly, one accident adds life-long sufferings to the victim’s family and the loss is repairable. Dreams of thousands’ mothers are shattered due to tragic death or life-time impairment to their children. This sudden shock is intolerable for many parents making them more vulnerable.

Reports say that in developing countries road accidents take a heavy toll on the poor and on economy. It is estimated that Bangladesh faces the financial loss of around Tk 25, 000 crore, that is 1% of the GDP due to road accidents every year.

Nirapad Sarak Chai (Nischa) led by Ilias Kanchan, founder and chairman of Nischa, over the years is raising their voice to prevent road crashes and the volunteer organization is undertaking many activities along with making people conscious to avert the menace that is taking away valuable lives every day.

But it is pertinent to ask the question: how far they have achieved success in this regard? Certainly the answer is negative. Many challenges on the way have made the situation more vulnerable and in many cases they have nothing but to observe the situation with helplessness.

Two years ago thousands of students protested on the streets, demanding safer roads following an incident when a speeding bus killed two school students. Almost a month they protested on the streets and made an example that helped to control traffic system across the country in a disciplined way. That time no news of accidents is heard in the city.

However, it was noteworthy that the government consented to the demands of the protestors and enacted law ensuring capital punishment to drivers for somebody’s death caused by their intentional rash driving.

The present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has made a significant development in the communications system of the country adopting various policies. The roads have been improved, the number of foot over bridges have increased and many fly-overs have been constructed to avert traffic load on the roads that can contribute to smooth communications across the country and have fewer risk to road causalities.

Recently, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the authorities concerned to carry out dope tests of drivers. It is a good initiative. If it is ensured that they are not drunkard, the rate of road causalities will decrease. 

To combat this ongoing menace, it is imperative to provide adequate training to drivers and make them aware of the consequence of reckless driving and racing. In this regard, law enforcing agencies should take strict action against the offenders plying vehicles on the roads as it is very important to prioritize overall management to check road crashes.

It is a must to install more cameras along with speed-guns at every accident-prone area to prevent drivers from getting involved in racing. Callous pedestrians should be discouraged by law to stop crossing roads where and when it is not permitted.

The writer teaches at Prime University. Email: [email protected]

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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