National, Front Page

Desperate driving takes life everyday

Published : 18 Aug 2019 12:20 AM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 09:43 AM

Desperate driving continues to take away lives on roads and highways everyday throwing the fate of most of the victims’ family into miserable condition. 

Members of different law enforcement agencies assigned on country’s important roads and highways to ensure safe journey are failing to control such reckless and desperate driving especially when night falls and the highways become comparatively empty.

In a tragic incident on Friday, five member of a family were killed in a car accident sending shock waves throughout the country. The deceased are Md Rafiquzzaman, 45, his wife Shahina Akhter, 40, their son Nadim Hossain, 25, daughter Rownak Jahan, 13, and Shahina’s brother Ashrafuzzaman, 38. Rafiquzzaman’s three-year old son Nadimuzzaman, only survivor, is now undergoing treatment at a hospital. 

On Saturday four people met the tragic end of their lives on Dhaka-Sylhet highway in Shibpurupazila in Narsigndi district. 

 These are only two incidents among many. Such deadly and tragic road accidents are taking place everyday across the country since Eid. 

The government, private organisations, different socio-cultural organisations, volunteer groups, teachers, students and people from all walks of life continue to raise voice against the desperate driving by untrained drivers most of whom have fake driving licence. 

As the drivers race to beat one another to collect passengers from different bust stops, all efforts to ensure safe journey on roads and highways, are going in vain. In another tragic accident couple of days back 6 school students died when their picnic bus crashed on a tree while trying to avoid a head on collision with an oncoming bus. 

This correspondent travelling on different national highways and roads during and after the Eid holiday, found almost all long-distance vehicles violating the speed limit. 

In many cases when the highway police or other members of law enforcement agencies tried to stop the coaches or buses which were running at high speed, the drivers dodged them in many ways and made good their escape.    

Though owners, drivers and other staffs of long-distance buses, coaches, trucks, covered vans and minibuses have been repeatedly requested to reduce their vehicle speed but they are not paying heed to the request.

The drivers and staffs even do not reduce the speed of their vehicles when approaching speed-breakers, bridges or a sharp bend on the road. 

As the roads and highways remain empty after the Eid, the drivers become desperate to reach their destinations at high speed thereby getting involved in deadly crashes. 

On Last Eid-ul-Fitr holiday, 142 people were killed in accidents across the country. Several hundred were injured.

Atiqul Islam, a former Deputy Inspector General(DIG) of the highway Police, said that after Eid, the roads remain mostly deserted. At such times vehicles move at high speed and get involved in accidents. 

The Road Accident Research Institute (ARI) of BUET finds that in 2017 fifty three percent of road accidents in Bangladesh were caused by excessive speed. 

About 37 percent of accidents happen because of drivers' careless behavior. Only 10 percent of accidents are due to environment and other causes. ARI obtained this data after scrutinizing police reports on the cause of the accidents.

Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Association Secretary-General Mozammel Haque Chowdhury said, “The law and order are monitored on the highway before Eid. But during the Eid time it is not visible. At this time, the drivers drive recklessly on empty roads.

Many professional drivers go on holiday during Eid. During such times amateur drivers drive the vehicles without having proper training or licence. As a result, incidence of accidents increase during long holidays, says Hossain Ahmed Majumder, leader of Bangladesh Truck-Covered Van Owners Association.

Behind the lawlessness on roads during holidays is the lack of enforcement of the existing laws of the land.