Friday, June 14, 2024

Danger lurks on roads

Wild driving inspired by poor enforcement of traffic rules and soft penalty have made the highways across the country and the streets of the capital death traps.
Fifteen people died in road accidents across the country yesterday alone.
Last year, the number of road casualty in the country was 2,467 while the number of the vehicles involved was 12,226. Of them, 1,063 were buses and 801 trucks,
according to the Accident Research Institute (ARI) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.
The ARI has analysed the data on road accidents of 13 years (1998-2010) and found that 45 percent of the accidents were caused by buses and trucks.
ARI sources said they had prepared the report based on police records, according to which 3,656 accidents occurred in 2008 while 2,802 in 2009 and 2,437 in 2010,
showing a gradual slide in number.
According to foreign organisations working here, the total number of accidents is four to five times higher, ARI Director Prof Hasif Mohammad Ahsan said on a previous
occasion.
He told The Daily Star yesterday that buses make the city roads chaotic and risky by shifting lanes and halting for passengers whenever and wherever they want to.
Besides, lack of coordination among the Dhaka city corporations (North and South), Bangladesh Road Transport Authority and traffic police is also responsible for the
mind-boggling number of accidents, added Prof Hasif.
“The ARI detected incorrect road signs in the capital and spoke of those on many occasions but the authorities concerned are yet to take any measure,” he said, adding
that proper enforcement of traffic laws could bring down road accident to a great extent.
Contacted over the phone, traffic chief Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman yesterday said bus drivers were the most unruly. On Thursday, traffic police filed around 3,500 cases
and over 1,500 of those were against bus drivers, he said.
Easy penalty is also a reason for drivers not getting any careful. According to section 304(B) of the Penal Code, death of a person due to reckless driving is an
offence bailable and the highest punishment for this is three years’ jail or fine or both.
Many citizens think this law should be revised.

-With The Daily Star input

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