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Don’t take law in own hands after road crashes: PM

Published : 12 Jan 2022 10:34 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked all concerned not to take law into their own hands after road accidents, calling for maintaining traffic rules to check the road mishaps. 

"Don't take law into your own hands. Accident is an accident. It can be found out later who is responsible for that," she said while opening the four uplift schemes, joining virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence in the morning.

The law enforcement agencies would look into the matter and find out who is responsible for the crash and take necessary legal action, she said.

Referring to the incidents of lynching drivers to death at different times by pedestrians, the premier said getting fear of being lynched, the drivers try to flee the scene by rough driving after ramming into a person, resulting in his tragic death.

"I call upon all to give time to find out why the accident occurred, what was the reason behind it and who was responsible for that," she said.

The prime minister asked the pedestrians not to cross road or railway tracks while talking over mobile phone or to pass the road hurriedly.

She also urged all to maintain traffic rules including use of footover bridges and underpasses while crossing the roads.

Among the development schemes under the Roads and Highways Division, a pedestrian underpass was constructed on Dhaka-Airport Highway as part of the prime minister's pledge following the deaths of two school students in a road accident near Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School and College on July 29 in 2018.

Sheikh Hasina asked the education ministry to issue an order for authorities concerned of all schools to develop a safe and secure system in helping their children cross the road by their own men during their opening and closing times.

The prime minister also stressed the need for educating students about the traffic rules and necessity of maintaining the rules from the primary level of education.

The newly constructed uplift projects which were opened by the premier on Wednesday are: the pedestrian underpass adjoining Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School and College on Dhaka-Airport Highway, Sylhet Town Bypass-Garrison Link 4 Highway, Balukhali (Cox's Bazar) - Ghundhum (Bandarban) Boundary Link Road, a 500 metre bridge on the Chengi river at Naniarchar in Rangamati district.

The country's first box pushing underpass with having lift and moving staircases was built at a cost of Tk 57.43 crore while Sylhet Town Bypass-Garrison Link 4 Highway at Tk 274 crore, Balukhali (Cox's Bazar) - Ghundhum (Bandarban) Boundary Link Road at Tk 78.85 crore, the 500 metre bridge on the Chengi river at Naniarchar in Rangamati district, the largest bridge in the Chattogram Hill Tracts area, at Tk 227.61 crore

Bangladesh Army's 24 and 34 engineering construction brigade supervised the development schemes.

After inaugurating the projects, Sheikh Hasina said, "With the opening of the four development schemes, we are marching ahead to implement our pledges to the grassroots people to turn Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country as envisioned by the Father of the Nation". 

She added that the development schemes would pave the way of boosting trade and business and make people's communication easy alongside contributing to decrease the nagging traffic snarl and road accidents.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, local public representatives, high civil and military officials were connected to the programmes from the respective sites.

Chief of Army Staff General S M Shafiuddin Ahmed spoke on the occasion while PM's Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus moderated it.

Road Transport and Highways Division Secretary Md. Nazrul Islam gave a brief description about the four development projects while Engineer-in-chief of Bangladesh Army Major General Ibne Fazal Shayekhuzzaman also spoke.

Sheikh Hasina asked all concerned to strictly follow the rules in issuing driving licences, stressing the need for imparting necessary training to  drivers to enhance their efficiency.

The use of motor vehicles is on the rise, she said, adding that there is a lack of skilled drivers in the country for which the government has taken initiatives to train up fresh drivers up to Upazila level

However, she asked the drivers not to hand over the steering of the vehicles to their helpers who have no competence to drive heavy vehicles, saying, "It's a crime." 

The Prime Minister said that her government had been constructing rest houses for the drivers of long-distance vehicles on different highways and two rest houses have already been constructed in Cumilla and Sirajganj. 

She opined that if the pedestrians and drivers remain cautious on the roads and maintain traffic rules, the number of accidents would largely decline. 

Sheikh Hasina said that her government has been working tirelessly to keep the road and highways safe and free from traffic congestion.

To reduce the road accidents, she said they have taken protective measures in all 209 jinxed areas or accident-prone areas on roads and highways listed by the government during 2010-12 across the country.

Later, the 252 black spots were identified on national and regional highways, she said, adding that protective steps have been taken in 172 spots while measures are being adopted in the rest 80 others.

As part of the government move to develop road and highways, she said they have already improved 632-km national highways with four or above lanes.

Besides, work continues to develop 647-km other highways with four lanes and separate service lanes on two sides of the roads and improve 79-km highways with four lanes without service lanes, she added.

Since assuming office in 2009, the premier said the present government has constructed or reconstructed 1,401 bridges, 6,360 culverts, 15 railway overpasses with a total length of 7,000 meters and 15 flyovers with a total length of 14,083 meters. 

She said that construction of railway overpasses having a total length of 15,142 meters and flyovers with a total length of 7,312 meters is now underway or planned.

The Prime Minister reiterated her call to the countrymen to strictly follow the health guidelines that included wearing facemasks as the Omicron variant of Coronavirus has the ability to rapidly spread out.