Road crashes killed at least 8,642 last year
At least 8,642 people were killed and 21,855 others were injured in road crashes across the country last year.
Of the injured, at least 1,305 became permanently disabled. Sadly, around 52 percent of the deceased were the lone breadwinners for their families.
Bangladesh Passengers' Welfare Association revealed these in a report at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday. The report was prepared on the basis of news published in 10 national and six local dailies.
"As many as 6,581 road crashes were reported in the newspapers ... [But] around 40 percent of the total accidents don't get media coverage at all, according to our assessment," said Mozammel Hoque Chowdhury, secretary general of the non-government platform.
Of the accidents, 56 percent took place on the highways, 23 percent in urban areas and 21 percent in rural area, the report says.
Around 60 percent of the victims, who were killed in urban areas, were pedestrians.
It also claims that around 3 lakh unfit vehicles and 10 lakh locally made three-wheelers like Nasiman, Kariman, Bhatbhati and easy-bikes, all illegal, were mainly responsible for the road accidents.
Overtaking, exceeding speed limits, overloading, disregarding traffic rules, engineering faults in road constructions, reckless driving, using headphones while driving and consuming drugs before driving were also held responsible for the accidents.
The association also came up with a set of recommendations to curb road accidents.
The suggestions include utilising the media for raising public awareness about traffic rules, removing makeshift kitchen markets and shops located close to highways, providing professional training to drivers, and strengthening law enforcement to stop unfit vehicles from plying the roads and highways.
The report also recommends that separate lanes be constructed for slow-moving vehicles on highways and trauma centres be set up near highways to provide immediate care to accident victims.