Thursday, October 1, 2020 | ePaper

Deaths in road crash don`t bother the ministry of the government

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AT LEAST 17 people were killed in four separate road mishaps in Mymensingh, Chuadanga, Narayanganj and Manikganj on Friday. During the Eid rush of travelling home and back, 242 people were killed and 331 injured in 201 road accidents across the country. Road accident is everyday tragedy for Bangladesh as the government is completely nonchalant to the tragic way of death despite repeating the assurance after every massive accident in the decade and the 2018 mass protest. We found seemingly no one responsible for road accidents except passing burden to others, while the judicial proceeding of road accident is almost cumbersome.
 During the Eid rush, 74 people were killed, 39 injured and 17 remained missing in 33 accidents on waterways. Very tragically on Friday, mountaineer Reshma Nahar Ratna died when a microbus rammed her bicycle slashing her dream of putting the national flag on the top of Mount Everest. Despite the passionate student movement for road safety in 2018, despite the unbelievable number of valuable lives we have lost, despite all the promises made by the transport authorities to reduce the number of road crashes, lives are being lost or maimed relentlessly every day.
Reshma's untimely death has highlighted the need for separate bicycle lanes, while the death number made nobody sorry. We must say the reckless driving and utter disregard for road rules have to stop. The Road Safety Act must be enforced. Reckless drivers and transport owners who employ them or unleash unfit vehicles on the road have to be held accountable and punished accordingly. This can be possible only if there is a political will to do what is right. The culture of impunity and hulk power of transport owners to influence the policymakers seems more worthy than the life of citizens. Enough words are hurled to make a promise, a number of laws are on the pitch, the demonstration showed people's solidarity, but lack of political will, an unturned stone, is there to shield perpetrators.

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