224 killed, 866 hurt in Eid-time road accidents

224 killed, 866 hurt in Eid-time road accidents

At least 224 people were killed and 866 injured in 203 road accidents across the country during these Eid-ul-Azha holidays, says a report published on Sunday.

On the other hand, 13 persons died and 15 were injured in 17 railway accidents while 16 people lost their lives, 59 went missing and 27 were injured in 24 waterway accidents, according to the report.

The Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh published the report at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity in the capital.

The association compiled the death figures from reports published in 41 national and regional dailies and 11 online news portals during 12 days between August 6 and 17.

Reckless driving, especially after the Eid holidays, was mainly blamed for the fatal accidents while lack of adequate role by law-enforcers and other relevant authorities was also attributed to these accidents during the national holidays.

Presenting the report, PWAB secretary-general Mozammel Haque Chowdhury, however, said that comparing to the 2018 Eid-ul-Azha, this year the number of road accident deaths fell by 6.25 per cent as the number of road accidents went down by 6.4 per cent due to a stronger monitoring by the law enforcers and the authorities concerned.

A similar June PWAB report showed that at least 273 people were killed and 849 injured in 232 road crashes during the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.

According to the Sunday report, 52.21 per cent road mishaps took place as vehicles ran over pedestrians and 33 per cent involved motorcycles.

Day-wise, the highest 30 people were killed and the highest 221 injured in road accidents on August 15.

On the Eid day, August 12, a total of 27 people got killed and 52 were injured in 20 road accidents.

Among the road-accident victims during this Eid-ul-Azha, 42 were students, 37 drivers, 22 children, eight members of law-enforcing agencies, three journalists, three physicians and two were political leaders.

Buses were involved in 27.4 per cent road accidents; motorcycles in 26.33 per cent; trucks and covered vans in 16.4 per cent; three-wheeler auto-rickshaws in 13.52 per cent; micro buses and cars in 7.82 per cent; easy bikes and battery-run rickshaws in 4.98 per cent; and Nasimon and Karimon were involved in 3.55 per cent road accidents.

About 52.21 per cent road accidents were caused by pedestrian-related reasons, 21 per cent were by head-on collisions, 17 per cent by falling in roadside ditches and 9.85 per cent were caused by other reasons.

The association’s statistics showed that during Eid-ul-Azha in last four years road accidents claimed 224 lives in 2019, 259 in 2018, 254 in 2017 and 248 in 2016.

In this Eid, 11 people were killed under the wheels of trains, one died falling from train roof, one died as a train and a vehicle collided and one committed suicide under a train.

Mozammel observed that transport owners still did not pay workers their monthly salaries, which forced them to drive recklessly to earn more.

He also blamed absence of members of law enforcers and relevant authorities in sufficient number on roads for accidents.

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority’s former chairman Ayubur Rahman Khan alleged that the passengers also suffered as they were charged increased fare.

The conference was attended, among others, by Conscious Consumers Society executive director Palash Mahmud, Jatri Odhikar Andolan convener Kefayet Shakil and Jatri Kalyan Samity vice-chairman Tawhidul Haque.

According to the first information reports filed with the police in the first four months of this year, 427 people were killed and 658 injured in 848 accidents around the country.