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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Urgent steps needed to make roads safer

DURING the Eid vacation, between Tuesday and Thursday, road accidents killed at least 30 people and also left at least 121 others injured. The accidents had occurred in Dhaka, Sirajganj, Bhola, Bogura, Bagerhat, Jhenaidah, Faridpur, Netrakona, Sylhet and Cox's Bazar. Nine of those killed in the accidents were riding motorcycles. Of the accidents; highest fatalities were in Cox's Bazar, where six persons were killed and 22 were injured in two separate road accidents at Medakachchhapia Point on Cox's Bazar-Chattogram Highway and Noakhalipara Point on Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive on Friday.
We know, it's a partial picture of road accidents. Fatalities on roads and highways during Eid journey is nothing new in the country. But we have never seen to take appropriate steps to check the death. Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Association (BPWA) said at least 405 people were killed and 1,274 were injured in 335 roads, railways and waterways accidents across the country during Eid-ul-Fitr holidays last year. Besides, more than 250 people died and 960 others injured in at least 237 road accidents during the Eid-ul-Azha vacations in 2018.
This year, the Eid journey was comparatively comfortable in comparison to previous years. Especially, the constructions of second the Meghna bridge and second Gumti bridge on Dhaka -Chattogram Highway made road communication smoother. It took only 4 hours to 4.5 hours to reach from Dhaka to Chattogram. The situation was almost same in other highways too. There was no serious tailback on the highways except a few. Undoubtedly, it was a success.
But unfortunately, road accidents are yet not controlled. Unfit vehicles are still plying on the roads by the unskilled and unlicensed drivers. The police department has failed to cease the plying of three-wheelers, Kariman and Nasimon on the highways, which contributed to road accidents. Not only that, police allowed hundreds of unfit buses and other vehicles to restore operation targeting the Eid passengers allegedly in exchange for bribe.    
The Eid journey is not yet ended. Thousands of the home-goers still did not started journey for their workplaces. We do urge the authorities concerned to take stern action so that accidents could be checked. Otherwise, the procession of deaths on roads will be getting longer.