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Faridpur road crash

Utter neglect claims 14 lives

Published : 16 Apr 2024 11:01 PM | Updated : 17 Apr 2024 12:08 PM

Road safety activists on Tuesday blamed the utter negligence on the part of various government agencies for the latest tragic road crash on the Dhaka-Khulna highway that killed at least 14 people and left several others injured.

However, government officials claimed that due to the shortage of manpower, they could not deploy adequate staff for preventing unsafe travels across the country, especially during this rush time when hundreds of people were returning to the capital Dhaka after celebrating Eid at their homes.

National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways (NCPSRR) in a statement said the authorities concerned, including police and Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), can’t shirk their responsibility for the Faridpur road accident.

Condemning the authorities’ negligence, the NCPSRR President Shahid Mia and its General Secretary Ashish Kumar Dey said although carrying passengers on trucks, pick-up vans, and goods-laden vehicles is prohibited, the vehicle was heading towards Dhaka from Faridpur’s Boalmari with 25-30 passengers on board.

About the  allegation of police  negligence behind the tragic road crash, Faridpur Police  Superintendent Mohammad Morshed Alam told The Bangladesh Post that   they always kept strict vigilance to stop travelling  on trucks and pick up vans on the highways mainly in town areas.

But there were no deployment at the  spot where the accident took place on Tuesday. It was outside the town. The speedy pick-up van suddenly entered the highway from a rural road, he claimed.   

Talking to the Bangladesh Post over phone,  Additional Inspector General of Highway Police Shahabuddin Khan said, we are always working against such kind of risky journey.

At first, we are directly resisting these types of unsafe travels. We are also taking legal steps and filing cases against the persons responsible for travelling on trucks and pick-up vans, the senior police officer added.

At the same time, we are also relentlessly working to build massive awareness so that the drivers and transport owners do not carry passengers on trucks and pick-up vans, the Highway Police boss continued.

We  are telling these directly during  the community police meeting, we also broadcasted a TVC and gave advertisement  to create public awareness on unsafe journey before this Eid, Adl IGP Shahabuddin Khan went on.

Regarding the Faridpur’s road crash, the Highway police chief said, “The pick-up van had probably entered the highway from a feeder road of Alfadanga area.”

You will also find that the driver had no driving licence and he was driving recklessly. This is why he committed the accident, the top brass police officer opined  

At least 285 people were killed and 454 others injured in 240 road accidents in 14 days during Eid-ul-fitr last  year, according to a report of Road Safety Foundation.

The report also showed  that Dhaka division had the most accidents and fatalities, with 28.33% and 26.31%, respectively. 

The report recommended that efforts should be taken to create skilled drivers and that drivers’ pay and working hours must be specified.

The BRTA needs to increase its capacity, and the enforcement of traffic laws to transport operators, passengers, and pedestrians must be ensured, it said.

The report also suggested building service roads for low-speed vehicles on highways and constructing road dividers on all highways in phases.

Other recommendations include using technology to control speed, stopping extortion in public transport, renovating railways and waterways to reduce pressure on roads, discouraging the use of motorcycles, and implementing sustainable transport strategies.

The Road Safety Foundation urged the government to ensure the smooth implementation of the “Road Transport Act- 2018” and establish a strict monitoring system before and after Eid on road to prevent further loss of lives.

At least 14 people were killed in a head-on collision between a bus and a pickup truck on the Dhaka-Khulna highway in Kanaipur union under Faridpur Sadar upazila on Tuesday.

According to locals and police sources, a Magura-bound Unique Paribahan bus collided with a Dhaka-bound pickup, leaving 11 people dead on the spot.

Two persons died while being taken to hospital and another died undergoing treatment.

All the deceased were passengers, driver and helper of the pickup van. They were going to the office of the deputy commissioner of Faridpur to seek relief from the Ministry of Finance. They were coming from Boalmari via Alfadanga. The pickup was carrying more than 15 passengers including the driver’s helper.

Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Md Kamrul Ahsan Talukder and Superintendent of Police Mohammad Morshed Alam visited the spot.

The DC said that an immediate grant of Tk20,000 has been given by the government for the burial of those who died and a grant of Tk20,000 for those who are under treatment. Besides, a grant of Tk5 lakh will be given to the family of the deceased and Tk3 lakh to the family of the injured.

A five-member probe body was formed to investigate the Faridpur accident.

Deputy Commissioner Md Quamrul Hasan Talukdar said the local administration formed the probe body and asked it to submit its report within three working days.

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