6,686 people died in road crashes in 2020: Jatri Kalyan
At least 6,686 people were killed and 8,600 were injured in 4,891 road accidents across the country in 2020, according to Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity.
Meanwhile, 318 people were killed and 79 were injured in 323 rail-related accidents last year, the organisation revealed at a programme in front of Jatiya Press Club yesterday.
In the waterways, 313 were killed, 342 injured and 371 went missing during the same period, it added.
The organisation prepared the report after compiling data from news outlets. Mozammel Hoque Chowdhury, secretary general of the passenger welfare platform, revealed the numbers.
However, the number of road crashes and casualties were less compared to the previous year, he said.
In 2019, at least 7,855 people were killed in 5,516 road crashes across the country. But the organisation said the coronavirus pandemic had a major role to play in improving the numbers.
"Due to the pandemic, there was restriction on the operation of public transport for more than two months in 2020. If we take this into consideration we can see the situation has not really improved," he said.
In the absence of heavier public transport, small vehicles like battery-run easy-bikes dominated the highways, resulting in relatively more accidents, he added.
However, the numbers reported by Jatri Kalyan Samity is significantly higher than a report by Nirapad Sarak Chai, the pioneering road safety campaign in Bangladesh.
According to Nirapad Sarak Chai, at least 3,800 people were killed and 4,954 were injured in 3,232 road crashes.
Samity's report blamed reckless driving, risky overtaking, fault in road design, unfit vehicles, passengers and pedestrians' ignorance, use of mobile phones or headphone while driving vehicles, drunk driving, occupied footpaths and poor enforcement of law for the road crashes.
According to the report, road crash victims include 1,392 pedestrians, 1,390 drivers, 375 students, 355 transport workers, 92 teachers, 418 children, 15 army and 52 police personnel.
A total of 6,736 vehicles were involved in the crashes. Of them, 13.12 percent were buses, 28.39 percent trucks and covered vans, and 24.80 percent were motorcycles.
In the report, the platform provided several recommendations to prevent road accidents. These include implementation of the government's electoral pledge regarding road safety, and proper implementation of the Road Transport Act-2018.