Road accidents: 107 students lose their lives in May

A man tries to comfort her daughter after his wife was killed in a road accident in Dhaka’s Mirpur on 29 March 2022 while taking her two children to school.
Sazid Hossain

Students account for the highest number of the victims losing their lives in road crashes across the country throughout May with 107 students being killed during this period, according to the Road Safety Foundation.

The Road Safety Foundation on Monday released its report on road accidents that occurred throughout May. The organisation prepared the report based on news published in nine national newspapers, seven online news portals and the electronic media.

According to the report, 528 road accidents happened across the country in May, killing 641 people and injuring 1,364 others.

Road accidents killed on an average 21 students a day in May, that is, 14.19 per cent up from April. Some 63 students were killed in road accidents in April.

In May, 76.28 per cent of people losing lives in road crashes are working people aged 18-65. Some 46.78 per cent of road crashes involved motorcycles, killing 279 people.

Eighty-four per cent of the victims were women and 97 per cent were children. Some 43.52 per cent of the dead were bike riders and passengers and 18.56 per cent were pedestrians.

According to the Road Safety Foundation, motorcycles are more involved in road accident occurring in May, accounting for 29.21 per cent while trucks, covered vans and pickups accounted for 22.97 per cent of road accidents, three-wheelers 15.75 per cent and buses 15.97 per cent.

National highways saw the highest number of road accidents with 41.09 per cent while regional and rural roads witnessed 36.17 and 14 per cent of road crashes.

Executive director of Road Safety Foundation Saidur Rahman said there has been an upward trend in bike accidents in the country, leading to a horrifying situation.

Underage youths face road crashes because of riding motorcycles recklessly and that involved other vehicles too.

It is necessary to discourage the use of motorcycles, reduce traffic congestion in addition to making access to public transport easier and affordable, and improve it. Rather use of motorcycle is being encouraged, he added.

According to the report, Dhaka division saw the highest number of road accidents at 127, killing 159 people and Sylhet division witnessed the lowest, 22 road accidents.

Dhaka district too witnessed the highest number of road crashes 32, claiming 37 lives and Jhalakati district saw lowest number of road accidents.

As many as 26 people were killed in 23 road accidents in the capital.

The report highlighted several reasons for road crashes. These are reckless bike riding by adolescents and teenagers, impatience, and lack of driving skill, lack of knowledge about traffic rules and not abiding by the rules, weak traffic management, lax monitoring by the authorities, and extortion in the transport sector.

The report also placed a set of recommendations to prevent bike accidents. These include ensuring proper enforcement of the ‘Road Transport Act 2008’, increased initiative to create skills, improved public transport, setting up road dividers and increased capacity of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.