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National Safe Road Day observed
The National Safe Road Day 2018 was observed on Monday across the country with the aim to ensure safety on roads.
The government observed the day for the second time with the slogan: ‘Ain mene cholbo, nirapad sarak gorbo (we’ll follow rules, will establish safety at roads)’.
Secondary schools—with participation from all students and teachers—across the country held a massive awareness campaign on road safety as per a directive of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority organised a discussion at Krishibid Institute Bangladesh to mark the day.
Road transport and bridges minister and the chief guest at the programme Obaidul Quader said that to this day the ‘procession of disorder and irregularities and tears of death continues on roads,’ crippling the sector.
He said infrastructures including Padma Bridge, metro rail, Dhaka Elevated Expressway, four lane highways would not be enough to bring solutions to the existing chaos if awareness was not created among all involved about the issues that continue to aggravate the situation.
‘Discipline should be brought back to the roads and footpaths have to be reclaimed to make the city safe for pedestrians,’ he said.
The minister urged the lawmakers to compel ‘errant’ political activists for following traffic rules.
State minister for rural development and co-operatives Md Mashiur Rahman Ranga, also Bangladesh Road Transport Owners’ Association president, said about one crore legal and illegal vehicles were running in the country currently.
Shipping minister Shajahan Khan, also executive president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation, said in 2014 in 2,027 road accidents 2,267 people were killed and 1,535 were injured and after that the number of road accidents increased slightly.
BRTA data, prepared based on first information reports of the police, shows that 2,513 people were killed and 1,898 injured in 2,562 accidents in 2017 and till September this year 1,853 people were killed in road accidents.
The newly enacted Road Transport Act 2018 was an updated statute which should be implemented appropriately, Shajahan Khan pointed out.
Civil Aviation and Tourism minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal said in some cases bus drivers let their helpers take over and drive buses which caused accidents.
Deputy inspector general of highway police Md Atiqul Islam said on 3,812 kilometre highways in the country 1,660 people were killed in road accidents in 2016. That number decreased to 1,501 in 2017.
‘These highways carry 73 per cent of all passenger buses and 82 per cent of all goods transportations,’ he said, adding that railways and waterways should share these trips to reduce pressure on highways.
Nirapad Sarak Chai chairman and initiator of the Safe Road Day Ilias Kanchan urged people to take responsibilities for using roads.
The discussion was attended among others by parliamentary standing committee on road transport and bridges ministry chairman Md Akabbar Hossain and member Md Monirul Islam, Road Transport and Highways division secretary Md Nazrul Islam, Roads and Highways Department chief engineer Ebne Alam Hasan, DMP additional commissioner for traffic Mir Rezaul Alam and senior transport leader Rustam Ali Khan.
Dhaka South City Corporation also held a rally at Nagar Bhaban to mark the day.
Different non-government organisations also observed the day.