Let’s keep our roads safe this Eid holiday

Photo: STAR

Empty roads. Dog—sorry—wolf cries. Sounds like an ideal racing track. But it is exactly what you find on the night before Qurbani Eid. Only instead of wolves, you hear cows "moo".

Regardless, it is a free road. And so, many of us with fast cars wouldn't want to lose a once in a lifetime opportunity to get wild on the road that least permits it.

Wait. Read the sentence again. Ask yourself this: Do you really want it to be a once in a lifetime opportunity? "NO" would echo in your four-chambered heart.

Yet many people fall prey to this temptation, both in and out of Dhaka.

Around the last Eid vacation, within just 14 days, there were 283 road accidents, leaving approximately 400 dead and 1,500 injured. In the days leading up to Eid-ul-Azha in 2021, at least 224 people were killed and 866 injured in 203 accidents. There are many accidents which aren't even documented.

Moreover, Dhaka roads also become the venue for minor accidents, especially on the nights immediately before and after Eid. The trend is grim.

Design: Faisal Bin Iqbal

But we can change this trend by following some precautions. Firstly, we shouldn't drive a car or ride a bike unless we have substantial experience. Most of us have this intense desire to drive out of emotion when we encounter a free road, knowing very little of how to actually drive. This desire must not be pampered.

Secondly, we should avoid driving vehicles we are not completely comfortable with, especially in the case of motorised two-wheelers. The condition of our vehicles must be considered. And although it is imperative that we check every inch of our mode of transport before every use, it is advised we do it with extra urgency this holiday.

Overtaking must be avoided. We should refrain from making social media content or taking selfies while driving, or when on the road. And if we are not in the driving seat, we should take care not to make things hard for the one who is.

Construction projects and road repairs are going on in and outside the capital. We should be aware of this as well.

Motorcycles have been banned on the recently-inaugurated Padma Bridge and also on the highways, which is a highly-welcome need of the hour. Those of us planning on driving over the bridge should take the absence of bikes not as an opportunity but as a warning. We should always drive respecting the speed limit, and must never submit to peer pressure. Daredevil instincts must be repressed. Remember, in our hands lie the lives of many.

Accidents can be minor. But what's to say that it's effects won't be major and long term?

Emotions make us humane. Reason makes us human. Let's be a bit more of both this Eid.

Abdullah woke up and found himself transformed into H. H under a Vanilla Sky, and amidst silver snowy sentences. Ask him to tell the tale at [email protected]


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তিনি ছিলেন স্বাধীন বাংলাদেশ গড়ে তোলার স্বপ্ন-সংগ্রাম ও স্বাধীনতা পরবর্তী রাজনৈতিক মেরুকরণের অন্যতম নিয়ামক শক্তি। তিনি যেভাবে চেয়েছেন, যা করতে চেয়েছেন, তাই করেননি—করিয়েছেন।