At least 259 people were killed and 960 injured in 237 road accidents during this Eid-ul-Azha holidays, says a report published on Friday.
Besides, eight people died either being hit by trains or falling off train roof while four people were killed, eight missing and 68 more injured in 14 waterways accidents, as per the report.
Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh published the report in a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity.
The association compiled it based on reports on national and regional dailies and online news portals of the country between August 16 and August 28 in 2018.
Rights activists have blamed conflict of interest, lack of accountability and reckless attitude for deaths on roads.
Presenting the report, PWAB secretary general Mozammel Haque Chowdhury said that compared with the last Eid-ul-Fitr, during this Eid the number of deaths in road accidents fell by 23.59 per cent, injuries by 24.11 per cent and number of road accidents by 14.44 per cent due to strong monitoring of law enforcers and Bangladesh Road Transport Authority following student protests.
Another PWAB report published on June 29 showed that at least 339 people were killed and 1,265 injured in 277 road crashes during the last Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.
If the authorities concerned would carry on their duties properly, the numbers of road accidents and causalities would decrease more, Mozammel observed.
According to the report, among the victims during this Eid-ul-Azha, 42 were drivers and their assistants, 34 children, 20 students and 12 members of law enforcing agencies.
During this Eid, 15 people were killed and 30 injured in a bus-Laguna collision in Natore, 11 killed in bus-Laguna collision in Narsingdi, seven killed truck-microbus collision at Muhuriganj and another seven killed in bus-CNG-run auto rickshaw collision at Lemua in Feni while a youth was pushed from moving bus to death in Chittagong.
On August 20 highest 45 people were killed and 100 more injured in 30 road accidents.
Buses were involved in 29 per cent road accidents, trucks and covered vans in 24 per cent, motorcycles in 17 per cent, three-wheelers auto-rickshaws in 11 per cent, micro buses and cars in seven per cent, easy bikes and battery-run rickshaws in 6 per cent, Nasimon and Karimon in 7 per cent and other vehicles in 9 per cent accidents.
About 44 per cent accidents were caused by pedestrian-related causes, 31 per cent in head-on collision, 18 per cent by falling in roadside ditch and seven per cent for other reasons.
Former adviser to a caretaker government and convener of Safe Road and Transport Alliance Hossain Zillur Rahman observed that most of the road accidents in Bangladesh could be avoided easily.
Conflict of interest — when the policymakers also hold positions as transports leaders — weakened the authorities’ stance in formulating any policy in the road transport sector, he noted.
Supreme Court advocate Jyotirmoy Barua alleged that the road sector was operated by powerful quarters who secured the interests of transport owners in forming any law.
At present shipping minister Shajahan Khan holds the position of executive president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation while state minister for local government, rural development and cooperatives Mashiur Rahman Ranga holds the position of executive president of Bangladesh Road Transport Owners’ Association.
BRTA former chairman Ayubur Rahman Khan said that without establishing the rule of law, the number of road accidents would never come down.
The conference was attended, among others, by Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry former director Abdul Haque.
A weeklong protests against road sector anarchy shook the country after two Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment College students were killed and 12 more injured by reckless driving at Kurmitola in the capital on July 29.
Unfortunately, most of the demands of students, including a ban on unfit vehicles and drivers without licences and half fare for them, have remained unimplemented even after a month.
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