A total of 1,443 road accidents have occurred between January and June this year; left 1,757 people dead and 3,524 injured, according to the Accident Research Institute (ARI) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). The data says, 3,000 road accidents take place in Bangladesh annually, killing around 2,700 people and injuring about 2,400, every year.
Road accidents are costing a country its citizens' lives every day which the government cannot disregard. Neither can the government deny the economic impact of the incidents. The estimated economic loss of these accidents reaches Tk 40,000 crore annually, which is 2% to 3% of Bangladesh's GDP.
The student protest for safer roads turned into an outrage, a reflection of all the injustices people have faced in all these years. The students stood still, firm at their demand and all they chanted was 'we want justice!' This is not unprecedented that almost all the remarkable changes in Bangladesh have come from the hands of students.
They have shown how revolution can be brought momentarily in this country's traffic system. They have shown how we can always bring a positive change even when it seems nearly impossible.
The government performing to the demands placed by the students has already approved a draft law in the cabinet that proposes a maximum punishment of five years' imprisonment for causing death to a person in reckless driving, drawing strong criticism from road safety campaigners who termed the sentence insufficient to end anarchy on roads.
We ask for proper implementation of the road safety laws and assurance of punishing the perpetrators responsible for negligent deaths on roads.