Reign of deaths on roads proves the authority is inapt to act06 February 2023
is hardly a day we pass without the painful news of deaths in road
accidents. Referring to a study by Jatri Kalyan Samity, an English
newspaper yesterday reported that at least 585 people were killed and
899 injured in 593 road accidents across the country last month.
Compiling the data of various media reports, Jatri Kalyan Samity in a
press release on Saturday revealed that during January, 214 road crashes
involving motorcycles claimed the lives of 205 people and injured 114
others. It seems that we are helpless to do anything to redress this
horrendous situation as the administration is least concerned about the
When we claim ourselves as a developed economy soon, the data compared with the high-income countries informed us that the annual road crash deaths per capita in Bangladesh are twice the average rate for high-income countries and five times of the best-performing countries in the world. Deaths on the roads have taken the form of a pandemic in this country. Though it may sound like a strange comparison, it is true that road accidents have taken more lives in the month of this January than Covid-19 in the same month of 2020. According to the Road Safety Foundation (RSF), in January 2021 alone, as many as 484 people were killed and 673 injured in 427 road accidents across Bangladesh - a 25.58 per cent rise year-on-year.
It is no surprise that the degree of sense and awareness of traffic rules of the drivers, their level of proficiency, and the wanton corruption that allows untrained drivers and unfit vehicles to ply on the roads may cause even more accidents. Painful it is to say that life and livelihood - nothing is now certain on roads. According to a 2020 World Bank report, Bangladesh needs to invest an estimated extra USD 7.8 billion over the next decade to halve its road crash fatalities.
The fact we fully endorse is the deaths on roads are due to a chronic lack of investment in systemic, targeted, and sustained road safety programmes. Poor control measures in issuing road permits and driver's licenses and non-enforcement of the road traffic laws added to the situation to make it more dangerous. It is time for the authorities to act as more and more innocent lives continue to be lost in the death traps of unsafe roads.