Dhaka, Bangladesh – Almost 400 individuals have been killed and nearly twice that quantity injured in additional than 300 street accidents within the fortnight across the Eid al-Adha holidays in Bangladesh this month.
It’s the highest variety of street accident deaths in the course of the Muslim competition for the reason that Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Affiliation (BPWA) started compiling such information in 2016.
The South Asian nation of 165 million individuals has one of many highest street accident and casualty charges on this planet. The incidents rise sharply in the course of the Eid holidays when thousands and thousands of individuals return to their houses within the countryside from capital Dhaka and different cities.
In accordance with the BPWA, not less than 398 individuals have been killed and 774 injured in 319 street accidents between July 3 and July 17. Eid al-Adha was celebrated on July 10 within the Muslim-majority nation.
The earlier excessive of such deaths happened this 12 months solely in the course of the Eid al-Fitr competition when 376 individuals have been killed and practically 1,500 injured in 283 street accidents between April 25 and Might 9, says BPWA.
Since nearly half the deaths in the course of the Eid al-Fitr holidays concerned bikes, the federal government banned two-wheeler automobiles on necessary highways for seven days from July 7 to July 13.
However BPWA information confirmed about 30 % of accident deaths throughout Eid al-Adha holidays concerned bikes as many individuals flouted the foundations.
Altaf Hossain, 27, died in a single such accident in Madhabdi space of Bangladesh’s central district of Narshingdi on July 11.
Hossain’s uncle Hiru Mia stated the deceased was carrying sacrificial meat to ship to a relative in one other district and had no choice however to make use of his motorcycle.
“On his method, he misplaced his bike’s management and fell right into a ditch. His head harm was deadly. The physician couldn’t save him after he was taken to a close-by hospital,” Mia informed Al Jazeera.
Deadly street accidents in Bangladesh have been on the rise regardless of the federal government saying it should cut back them by 50 % by 2030.
In accordance with the police, not less than 5,088 individuals have been killed in 5,472 street accidents in 2021 – 30 % larger than the earlier 12 months.
The BPWA information paints a bleaker image – 7,809 deaths and 9,039 accidents in 5,629 street mishaps final 12 months.
Offended by a dashing bus killing two highschool college students in July 2018, tens of 1000’s of college and faculty college students throughout Bangladesh hit the streets for every week in an unprecedented protest.
The protests compelled the federal government to go the Highway Transport Act, which launched a lot of measures to test street accidents, together with fixing a minimal age and dealing hours for skilled drivers and an emergency helpline to report mishaps.
Regardless of a legislation in place now, there’s widespread scepticism amongst individuals and specialists over any actual change on the bottom.
When famend filmmaker Tareq Masud and journalist Mishuk Munir died in a street accident in 2011, a nine-member authorities committee headed by a minister issued a lot of suggestions to make the roads safer.
The panel recommended forming a Highway Security Fund from the price range allotted for street development tasks. It stated the fund must be spent on street security consciousness programmes and analysis.
At current, greater than 350 street development tasks are below method in Bangladesh, with a cumulative worth of $5.1bn.
If simply 1 % of the worth of those tasks is stored apart for the Highway Security Fund, the cash collected might be $56m. Nonetheless, no such fund has been shaped but.
Plans on paper
One other main advice of the high-powered authorities committee was to raised prepare drivers and streamline the method of issuing driving licences, provided that Bangladesh’s highways are flooded with unskilled and unlicensed drivers.
In accordance with information from the Bangladesh Highway Transport Authority (BRTA), there are 3.4 million registered automobiles within the nation. Nonetheless, simply 1.92 million driving licences have been issued by the company, indicating there are greater than 1,000,000 unlicensed drivers.
In 2012, the federal government deliberate to introduce driving programs in technical faculties and faculties below a Vocational Training Board. That plan has not materialised but.
In the meantime, a number of BRTA drives in the previous few years discovered that about 80 unauthorised driving faculties throughout the nation have been churning out 1000’s of fledgling drivers.
BRTA Chairman Noor Mohammad Majumder stated there are 41 BRTA-approved driving faculties in Bangladesh, together with 26 in Dhaka.
“Our fingers are tied as these numbers [of driving schools] look small in entrance of tons of of 1000’s of candidates,” he informed Al Jazeera.
Shamsul Haque, former director of the Accident Analysis Institute (ARI) of Bangladesh College of Engineering and Expertise, stated the authorities must be extra resolute in guaranteeing street security.
“Accidents in Bangladesh occur nearly on daily basis however some accidents create larger buzzes within the media,” he stated.
“Instantly after these accidents, the federal government pronounces some measure to stem public outcry, however in the long term they neglect about their commitments.”