A total 185 people were killed in 135 accidents on road, railway and river routes as holidaymakers travelled home to spend their vacation with their near and dear ones during the Eid-ul-Azha this year.
Also, a total 355 people were injured in the accidents, according to a report of Nirapad Sarak Chai (We Demand Safe Roads), a road safety campaigning group.
Liton Ershad, acting secretary general of the group, presented the report at a press briefing held at the Jatiya Press Club this morning.
The report was prepared based on news reports of different newspapers, online news portals, television channels, and news agencies collected by activists of 120 branch organisations of the campaigning group across the country.
According to the report, the number of accidents, the death toll, and the number of injured were higher compared to the figures during the Eid-ul-Fitr this year, when a total 184 people died and 332 got injured in 127 accidents across the country.
On the roads and highways, 130 accidents took place which left 180 people dead and 344 others injured.
The casualties include 26 pedestrians who died while five others who got injured.
In the rail routes, two accidents took place in which two persons were killed.
In the river routes, three accidents left three persons killed, 10 missing, and 11 others injured.
The report also revealed the causes behind the road accidents, which include:
- reckless driving and tendency to overtake other vehicles
- carrying passengers in cargo vehicles and vehicles without fitness
- vehicles being driven by unskilled drivers and helpers
- driving vehicles without any rest or breaks; disruption in schedule
- tendency to carry excess passengers
- plying of auto-rickshaws, battery-run rickshaws and three-wheelers, and motorcycles on the highways
- absence of lanes for small vehicles on the roads and highways
- poor road condition
- irregularities on the roads, including tendency to violate rules and charging of extra fare.
The campaign group also came up with a number of observations and suggestions, including:
- monitoring the roads and highways not only before the Eid but also afterwards
- incorporating fixed working hours and salaries for drivers and helpers
- taking steps to provide proper training to drivers and issuance of driving licenses
- modification in issuance of fitness certificates to vehicles
- curbing irregularities on different routes, including charging extra fares
- preventing vehicles from carrying extra passengers
- ensuring sufficient vehicles to prevent overloading
- creating separate lanes on highways for speedy vehicles, smaller and larger vehicles
- imposing restriction on motorcycles on highways
- implementing the road safety measures suggested so far
The report also came up with some recommendations for the long run, including public awareness campaigns on road safety in the different media, inclusion of road safety awareness in school curriculum, implementing traffic rules and regulations strictly to curb irregularities, construction of underpasses in the different areas under the city corporations, and giving free trainings or scholarships to poor and unemployed youths to create skilled manpower in this sector, among others.