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As many as 4,969 people have died in 4,092 road, rail and waterway accidents in 2020, according to Nirapad Sarak Chai (Nishcha).

Nishcha, an organisation involved in the movement for safe roads, also reveals that some 5,085 were injured.

Chairman of Nishcha Ilias Kanchan presented the figures at the press conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday morning.

He said that the number of road accidents has decreased in 2020 as compared to 2019.

But the number is still high for one year as most of the vehicles did not operate due to coronavirus for a long time in 2020.

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Nishcha reveals some 3,800 people were killed in 3,232 in road accidents.

Some 129 people lost their lives in 108 accidents on railways. Besides, 212 people were killed in 70 accidents on waterways.

In addition to the 11 national dailies, these statistics have been compiled from the reports published and disseminated in the online and electronic media and the reports from different branch organisations of Nishcha.

Nishcha claims that apart from these published accidents, at least 20 per cent of the accidents remain unpublished.

Another 20 per cent of people die from unpublished accidents after being hospitalised or discharged. The number of unpublished deaths in accidents is 828.

Nishcha has identified a number of reasons for road accidents including lack of proper road management and supervision, driving on a contract basis, recruiting drivers without license and defects of the roads.

Nishca says motorcycles are the first among the vehicles liable for most of the accidents. Trucks and buses are in second and third positions respectively.

Among the drivers killed in the accident, the names of motorcyclists have come up the most.

Besides, on the basis of monthly statistics, the month of January 2020 has the highest number of accidents.

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According to the area-wise statistics, the highest number of accidents occurred in Dhaka district last year. Some 37 people have been killed in 237 accidents in Dhaka and surrounding districts. Other districts are Chittagong, Mymensingh and Gazipur. The lowest number of accidents occurs in Khagrachhari, Rangamati and Bandarban districts. Presenting the area-wise statistics of accidents, Ilias Kanchan said, drivers of hilly areas drive the vehicle carefully with controlled speed. For this reason, accidents are less in the hill districts. Expressing concern over the casualties in motorcycle accidents, he said motorcyclists and riders do not wear helmets in regional and rural areas. Reckless speeding, more than two riders and talking on mobile phones while riding motorcycle also cause the accidents.

Nishcha secretary general Syed Ehsanul Haque said, Nishcha’s activities have been going on since 1993.

From 2012, Nishcha has been publishing the statistics of accidents regularly.

He demanded that the road transport and bridges ministry would set up a separate cell to release casualty figures every year.

Organising secretary of Nishcha SM Azad and Mirajul Moin, son of Ilyas Kanchan were also present at the press conference. Nishcha’s joint secretary general Liton Ershad conducted the programme.