The projects are Pedestrian Underpass adjacent to Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School under Dhaka Airport Highway, Sylhet City Bypass-Garrison Link 4-lane Highway, Balukhali (Cox’s Bazar)-Ghundhum (Bandarban) Border Link-Road, and 500-meter Bridge over Chengi river at Naniarchar in Rangamati district.
She asked the education ministry to take initiatives for directing every educational institution up to higher secondary level to keep its staff on adjacent road points to help students and prevent the loss of lives to accidents.
Because, she said, students are reluctant about paying heed to the instructions of others in many cases. “If there’s anyone from the school authorities, they’ll follow his or her instructions,” she said, adding that every school will have to take the initiative on their own.
The prime minister also asked the students to follow traffic rules during their movement on roads. “In every school and college, students should be taught about traffic rules from their very childhood. Every school, college and university will have to take this step.”
Sheikh Hasina requested people not to attack drivers of any vehicle soon after any accident. Otherwise, it might lead to further accidents when the driver would try to escape the attack.
“There’s a tendency to do that in our country. If any accident takes place, everyone starts beating the driver and, in some cases, drivers are killed in such mob attacks,” she said, adding this needs to be considered and found out the reasons behind an accident.
The government is constructing rest houses for long-haul vehicle drivers, with goods-laden vehicle parking and other modern facilities, alongside national highways, and already constructed two rest houses in Cumilla and Sirajganj
Pointing at the pedestrians, the prime minister said everyone needs to have knowledge about traffic rules and follow those.
She called upon the pedestrians to follow traffic rules, never to use mobile phones while crossing roads, railways or walking on footpaths, not to run abruptly to cross the roads, as well as not to take law into their own hands in case of an accident.
Hasina asked the drivers not to hand over the steering of vehicles to their helpers who have no competency to drive heavy vehicles.
Mentioning that the use of motor vehicles is on the rise in the country, she said there is scarcity of drivers and so the government is giving importance to training new drivers up to the upazila level.
The government is constructing rest houses for long-haul vehicle drivers, with goods-laden vehicle parking and other modern facilities, alongside national highways, and already constructed two rest houses in Cumilla and Sirajganj.
If the pedestrians and the drivers remain alert on roads, the number of accidents would largely decline, she said.
Hasina said the Awami League government has relentlessly been working to keep roads and highways safe and free throughout the country, including the capital.
In 2018, the prime minister had promised to construct the underpass, four days after Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, two students of the college, were killed as a bus ploughed into some students in front of Kurmitola General Hospital on airport road in the capital on 29 July.
Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation of the underpass on 12 August 2018. On 4 August that year, she provided the five buses for the students of the college after the family members of the two students and the principal of the college met her on 2 August.
Public representatives, government officials, army officers and other concerned were connected from three other places -- the underpass area in Dhaka, Naniarchar and Sylhet Cantonment.
Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader was present at the virtual event conducted by prime minister’s principal secretary Ahmad Kaikaus.
Chief of Army Staff SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, Secretary of Road Transport and Highways Division Md Nazrul Islam, Engineer in Chief of Bangladesh Army Major General Ibne Fazal Shayekhuzzaman spoke on the occasion. The projects were implemented by the Bangladesh Army.