Road accidents kill 124 students this April

CUET students blocks the road in front of their campus in protest of two CUET students dying in road accidents in April 2024.Sourav Das

As many as 124 students have been killed in road accidents across the country this April. In other words, at least four students have been killed on road every day last month. This figure has come up in a report of Road Safety Foundation, an organisation working on road safety.

According to the record of this organisation, at least 349 students have been killed in the country within the first four months of the current year already. Out of them, 225 students died in last January, February and March.

As per the observation of Road Safety Foundation, the number of incidents involving deaths of students in road accidents is higher outside of the cities. In major cities of the country, including the capital Dhaka, the speed of vehicles is low due to high traffic congestion.

The number of accidents and deaths on roads outside of the city is greater for the speed is higher there. And, students are the biggest victims in this case.

The organisation says that bike accidents are increasing the number of deaths on roads. Last month, 11 bikes met with accidents while being driven at a reckless speed.

There were total 33 students involved in these accidents with three on board in each of these bikes. They all died in the accidents. Majority of the deceased students were aged between 14 to 16 years.

Road Safety Foundation regularly publishes the information of how many accidents takes place across the country in a month as a report. They published the report related to the road accidents occurring in April yesterday, Sunday.

According to the information of the report, total 679 people were killed in 672 road accidents across the country last month. According to government organisation BRTA data however, 632 people have been killed in 658 road accidents last April.

To make roads safer for everyone, students had held a movement from 29 July to 8 August in 2018 that shook the whole country. The students had then returned home after the government made various promises on reducing accidents.

Because of the student movement, new Road Transport Act was formed. However, that law could not be implemented entirely. Meanwhile, the roads have not become safer either. Rather, the situation has become worse than before.

BRTA data shows that there have been total 5,495 road accidents in the country last year. As many as 5,024 people have been killed in these road accidents that left 7,495 people injured.

According to Road Safety Foundation’s records though, 6,524 people have been killed on roads last year. And, 1,053 of them were students. That means, as much as 16 per cent of the total deaths on road from last year were students indeed.

Executive director of Road Safety Foundation, Saidur Rahman told Prothom Alo that students and the working age population have a higher rate of movement on roads. So, whenever there’s an accident it is noticed that working age people and students are becoming major victims of it.

He complained that faulty vehicles are running on the roads, inexpert drivers are operating the vehicles and there is a lack of awareness among passengers and pedestrians on following traffic laws.  

On the other hand, it is noticed that the concerning government organisations are negligent in fulfilling their responsibilities. Overall, there is chaotic situation prevailing on the roads, which is resulting in accidents and deaths, he added.

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