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Adopt realistic measures to prevent traffic deaths

Adopt realistic measures to prevent traffic deaths

National Road Safety Day is being celebrated on October 22 every year as a continuation of the movement to make roads safer. The cabinet meeting in 2017 decided and approved to observe the day as the National Road Safety Day. On 22 October of the same year, the first National Road Safety Day was celebrated in Bangladesh.

Road accidents have become a national problem in our regular life. When we picked up the daily newspaper, we saw the tragic news of those injured and killed in the road accident. Nowadays, walking or driving on the busiest streets of the city has become quite dangerous. The situation is such that the first thing that comes to mind when no one returns home at the right time is road accident.

Although Bangladesh's roads have improved considerably since its establishment as an independent country, they have been inadequate. The number of rickshaws, vans, bicycles, autorickshaws, etc. is innumerable. According to a recent study, these are about 30 times more in Bangladesh than in developed countries, which can be realized by looking at the long traffic jams on the busy roads and people rushing for employment in the country's largest cities.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2016, about 1.3 million people were killed in road accidents around the world which is unexpected. If the trend of increasing road accidents continues, it is expected that by 2025, the number of road accidents will increase by 60 percent. The death rate in road accidents in Bangladesh is much higher than many other countries in the world. The rate of road accidents in our country is 25 to 30 percent higher than in the developed world.

According to the WHO, 1,80,000 children die in road accidents worldwide each year. In 2010, 96 percent of children killed in road accidents were from underdeveloped and developing countries. Road accidents make family and social life miserable. This led to a sudden disaster in a family. That grief is like a shell in the chest of the whole family and relatives for the rest of their lives. Many times the society and the country lose their meritorious ones in road accidents. and crippled many forever.

No one is solely responsible for road accidents in our country. There are various reasons for this accident, some of which are significant: 1. Drivers' negligence, incompetence and unlicensed incompetent drivers, 2. Defective vehicles, 3. The inadequacy of the road, 4. Competitive driving and overtaking, 5. Lack of required number of traffic police and violation of traffic rules, 6. Oil used in vehicles is adulterated, 7. Lack of necessary dividers in the road, 8. Shortness of overbridge and carelessness of road crossing or not knowing the rules of road crossing, 9. The majority of rickshaws and vans, 10. Illegal establishments on the road, 11. Driving rickshaws and vans by rickshaw pullers who are ignorant of traffic laws, 12. Roads are dug here and there without alternative road arrangements, 13. Traffic congestion due to overloading of goods and passengers, roadside meetings, strikes, etc. and 14. Corruption of some employees involved in road transport.

The images of road accidents in Bangladesh are really horrible. Somewhere in the country, road accidents are snatching away the precious lives of the people, breaking up families. Somewhere accidents happen with the bus, somewhere between the bus and truck and somewhere between the tempo and bus. Again somewhere a rickshaw or an innocent pedestrian is crushed by a speeding bus or truck, taking away the precious human life.

Dhaka is one of the most populous megacities in the world. There are not enough roads or vehicles here compared to about two and a half crore people. As a result, the number of accidents as well as deaths is increasing. The accident rate outside Dhaka is comparatively less than in Dhaka. Long-distance buses and trucks are the main victims of accidents. Accidents involving getting on a ferry or losing control and hitting a tree on the side of the road, or overtaking a car in a competitive manner.

Despite the government's efforts to control road accidents, it is not being controlled. As a result, mother loses children, wife loses husband and child loses father. After the death of two students in a road accident in Dhaka in 2018, students of almost every educational institution in the country joined the mass movement. By controlling the traffic with their own hands, they have shown the blindness in the law.

The following measures can be taken to prevent road accidents: 1. Encouraging drivers to drive carefully as well as preventing illegal rickshaws from entering the highway, 2. Stopping Car parking at unspecified places, 3. Driver's skills and qualifications should be thoroughly checked and selected before issuing the license. It is also important to ensure that no one is allowed to drive without a license, 4. Accidents can be greatly reduced if the mechanical performance is ensured before the car is taken out on the road 5. The punishment for road accidents needs to be extended, 6. The financial compensation and penalty provisions mentioned in the Motor Vehicles Ordinance needs to be increased, 7. There are allegations that some dishonest officials and employees create and sell fake licenses at low prices, creating obstacles to the issuance of licenses in the traditional way and creating an artificial crisis of licenses, which is difficult to remedy due to lack of documentary evidence. It is essential to stop giving such fake certificates. 8. The work of the police and the BRTA must be coordinated, 9. It is necessary to make it easier to withdraw insurance money under the Insurance Act, 10. Alternative roads need to be created for the movement of people or any animal driven vehicles on the highway, 11. Taking necessary measures to stop transport extortion, 12. It is essential to modernize and develop the entire traffic system keeping in mind the issues of freeing the sidewalk hawkers and making it suitable for pedestrian movement.

Otherwise, road accidents will continue to increase day by day, which could create a dire situation for the country and the nation. Even pedestrians need to respect traffic laws. 13. Every driver and passenger of the car has to remember that the value of life is much more than time. Therefore, besides creating awareness, it is necessary to stop transporting excess goods and passenger through enforcing strict laws and 14. If necessary, CCTV cameras should be installed on all roads.

In today's society, every person is chased by a panic called road accident when he leaves home. Every day road accidents happen in some part of the country. The families of the victims have to bear the loss for the rest of their lives. Only public awareness and necessary government and private measures can stop this accidnets. Therefore, no matter how complicated the problem of road accident is, it is not a difficult task to avoid it through the overall efforts and sincerity of all. Everyone should come forward with the slogan 'We want safe roads'.

The writer is a columnist and official of the Southeast University