We have to stop killing people on road
In our country, the death procession in the road accident is going on at the same pace as the death procession in the Corona epidemic. Public transport is closed in severe lockdowns across the country to prevent corona infection, but pick-up collision, microbus-truck collision, bus-truck collision, motorcycle collision, CNG-pickup collision, bus collision- autorickshaw collision are on the rise.
The news of those killed and injured when the wheel overturned spread the news in our country by making headlines. As a result, the highways are flooded with human chains, road blockades and rallies demanding exemplary punishment of the perpetrators. What is the role of the state in the demands arising from the movement?
In every accident, every family cries. They have to live with the pain and suffering of losing their relatives. Can the state give back the lives of those who died in the accident? How safe are we on the road in the future? Sometimes I walk to nearby places, I use vehicles for distant places.Everyone is expected to reach their destination safely at the right time. But no one wants life to run amok with sudden unforeseen events.
According to media reports, 229 people were killed in 16 accidents in the 14 days before and after Eidul-Adha 2020. On an average, more than 16 people were killed every day. 206 people have been killed in 11 days before and after Eid-ul-Azha. On an average, about 19 people are killed every day. As a result, the death toll has increased by 15.04 percent.
In an estimate of the World Health Organization, an average of 55 people die in road accidents in Bangladesh every day. According to the Bangladesh Research Institute, about 12,000 people are killed and 35,000 injured in road accidents in Bangladesh every year. A total of 4,989 people were killed in 4,092 road accidents in our country in 2020. Besides, 5,065 people were injured.
Concerned officials should take urgent steps to reduce deaths in road accidents. We need to find a way to find out the exact reasons why different types of accidents are happening all over the country and where the faults are.
Road management in our country is very fragile. No one is safe on the road. When you go out, you have to carry your life in your pocket, because it is difficult to say when you will be killed in a collision with a vehicle.
Three years back student movement spread all over the country including Dhaka demanding safe roads.
As a result, students of schools and colleges took to the streets with the slogan 'I want safe roads' demanding 9 points including guarantee of normal death.
Images of mismanagement on the road show that untrained drivers and assistants drive unfit cars on the road, vehicles do not have driving licenses, do not follow traffic directions, and park cars everywhere.
But it is very sad that the law that has been made is only written in the constitution and it is not being implemented in practice. No one is obeying the law, so even after three years, the death toll in road accidents in the country has not changed.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Bangladesh is at the bottom of the global list of world class roads. Among the South Asian countries, only Nepal has worse roads than Bangladesh. At the same time, despite huge investments in our country, world-class roads have not been built. Since the decline, Bangladesh's position in 2019 stands at 106.
One of the causes of road accidents is the mismanagement on the road. Construction of roads and railways in Bangladesh costs much more than Europe, America, China and even neighboring India. But the road management of our country is the most fragile.
According to the RHD, roads are built for 20 years. But in many cases they are destroyed within a year and a half. Sometimes damage occurs before construction is completed. Ordinary people are the victims of horrible conditions. For this, just as it is very important to repair the road, it is also important to train the drivers. Otherwise, the state will have to take responsibility for every death in road accidents.
Restoring order on the road is not a difficult task. Overloading of vehicles should be prohibited. There is no alternative to ensuring proper enforcement of road laws to prevent competition and ensure discipline on the roads. Therefore, it is necessary to make arrangements for passenger camps to stop the movement of passengers everywhere. Drivers need to be made aware and trained to curb the attitude and speed of reckless competition.
The movement of unlicensed and unfit vehicles should be banned and new unlicensed and unfit vehicles should not be allowed on the roads. Defective roads need to be repaired quickly and accident-prone turns need to be identified. Police and mobile courts on the road need to be more active with honesty. In case of death of a transport worker due to negligence of the owner, he will have to pay adequate compensation. So let's follow the road rules, return to our destination safely.
We all need to remember that the sum of time is life. Life is more valued than time. An accident is the cry of a lifetime. It is possible to build safe roads only through proper planning and proper implementation.
The writer is a student of Joypurhat Government College.