Discipline in road transport sector still a far cry
STATISTICS showed that the number of accidents, fatalities and injuries increased in 2019 as the government consistently failed to bring order on roads while the families of the victims continue to cry for justice. The highest number of casualties was recorded in 2019 in 35 years, an alarming. Despite repeated initiatives taken by the authorities, road safety situation has gradually deteriorated. The culture of impunity and lack of awareness played a vital role in increasing road misshapes. According to the police, at least 4,138 people were killed and 4,411 injured in 4,147 accidents in 2019, while 2,635 were killed and 1,920 injured in 2,609 accidents in 2018. Last year the highest 2,326 people were killed in district areas followed by 1,438 killed in highway and 374 in metropolitan areas.
But what's most significant that highest number of people was killed in Dhaka Metropolitan Police area - which was 230, followed by 54 in Chattogram Metropolitan Police and 33 in Barishal Metropolitan Police areas. The number of fatalities and accidents were more than the recorded incidents. Following the countrywide student protests for safe roads in 2018, the road law came into effect on November 1, 2019, more than 13 months after its enactment in September 2018. The government began enforcing the law in November 2017 amid countrywide protests by transport workers. But finally the government backtracked as transport workers demanded to make cases filed against them bail-able. Currently, the law enforcing agencies are implementing the law partially after the government allowed time to the transport workers and owners until June 30, 2020, to update driving licences and fitness certificates.
A safe road communication is vital for economic and human development but the government has totally failed to bring discipline in the transport sector and curbing road misshapes till the date.