March Road Accidents in Bangladesh: 552 Incidents, 565 Fatalities

Representational Image

Representational Image

Last month (March), a total of 552 road accidents occurred across the country. In these incidents, 565 people died, and 1,228 were injured. During this month, the highest number of accidents occurred involving motorcycles. 181 motorcycle accidents resulted in a total of 203 fatalities, accounting for 32.78% of total accidents and 35.92% of total fatalities.

In the same period, there were 38 railway accidents, resulting in 31 deaths and 86 injuries. Seven maritime accidents led to 16 deaths and 17 injuries. In total, there were 597 accidents on roads, railways, and waterways, resulting in 612 deaths and 1,331 injuries.

Yesterday evening (April 17), according to a report sent by the Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Association, this information was obtained. The organization compiled this report by monitoring news of road, railway, and maritime accidents published in the national, regional, and online newspapers.

In March, the highest number of road accidents occurred in the Dhaka Division. In this division, 162 road accidents resulted in 165 deaths and 306 injuries. The fewest road accidents occurred in the Barishal Division, with 23 accidents resulting in 32 deaths and 92 injuries.

The report stated that the published information does not provide a complete picture of organized road accidents in the country. Only about 60 to 70 percent of road accidents are reported in the media. Therefore, it is not possible to capture all the information in our report. When looking at the primary source of road accidents in the country's hospitals, such alarming information is found.

In March, 1,369 seriously injured accident patients were admitted to Dhaka National Orthopedic Hospital and Rehabilitation Center (Pangu Hospital). Science says that in an accident involving 10 injuries, only one person becomes seriously injured or disabled. Bangladesh has 10,000 government and 6,000 private hospitals. Every year, more than three million patients are admitted to these hospitals due to road accidents. However, only 10 percent of their information is published in the media, so we cannot depict the alarming picture of the incidents.

According to the Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Association's observation, notable causes of road accidents in March include the non-compliance with traffic laws, weak enforcement, widespread corruption in regulatory agencies, widespread use of motorcycles, battery-powered rickshaws, and three-wheeled vehicles on highways, unrestricted movement of vehicles on roads and highways, lack of road signs or markings, absence of lights on roads, unrestricted use of fog lights at night, construction errors on roads and highways, widespread use of unfit vehicles and incompetent drivers, poor road conditions, vehicle defects, tendency to violate traffic laws, driving on the wrong side of the road, street racing, and incompetent and reckless driving.

Recommendations for accident prevention include initiating a comprehensive data bank of road accidents from the primary source through national initiatives, developing smart public transportation systems, stopping the import and registration of motorcycles and easy bikes like motorized rickshaws, training competent drivers, providing vehicle fitness digitally, mandating reflective vests for bicycle and motorcycle riders at night, stopping street racing, ensuring adequate lighting on national and regional highways for night travel, eliminating black spots, conducting road safety audits, auditing the ongoing activities of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) to identify institutional weaknesses, and addressing institutional incompetence promptly.

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