Road accidents during this Eid-ul-Fitr holiday rush claimed 323 lives in just 15 days, even though long-haul buses were off the road due to Covid-19 lockdown, said Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Shamiti on Sunday.
At least 318 road crashes occurred during May 7- 21 period, the passenger welfare forum revealed while presenting its road accident report-2021 at a press briefing here.
The report also said 622 people were injured in road accidents during the period when lakhs of people hit the road to celebrate the Eid festival with their families in village homes.
The Eid was celebrated on May 14 during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The number of road crashes usually increase as people’s movement surges during such festival.
According to the report, the number of both deaths and accidents on the road increased this year.
Due to lockdown, public transports remained suspended, but the holidaymakers packed private cars, microbuses, motorcycles, auto rickshaws, trucks, pick-up vans and covered vans.
The report also stated that among the deceased, 35 were women, 22 children, 69 pedestrians and 31 transport workers, and 96 drivers.
According to the report, like other years accidents on motorcycles were at top recording 139 deaths in 144 accidents this year.
This accounts for 45.28% of the total accidents and 43.03 % of the total deaths recorded.
About 32.28 percent accidents took place in national highways, 40.88 percent in regional highways, 22.32 percent in feeder roads, the report stated analyzing the types of accidents.
Members of the road accidents monitoring cell of the forum prepared the report collecting information from widely published and trustworthy national, regional, daily newspapers and online portals in the 15 days.
Also read: Rickshaw puller killed in city road crash
Of the total accidents 3.14% occurred in Dhaka and 1.25% in Chattogram.
The report also mentioned 331 people died and 772 sustained injuries in 322 accidents occurring jointly on the country's road, rail and waterways.
“Movement of only 8 to10 percent of the population caused so many accidents and deaths only due to negligence of the concerned authority and organizations liable for road safety,” said Mozammel Haque Chowdhury, general secretary of the Jatri Kalyan Samity.
He strongly demanded that the government prioritizes the road safety and take necessary measures.
Public transport expert and director of FBCCI, Abdul Haque said, “transport owners face graft and suffer a lot when they go to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) for fitness tests or other services”.
Thus lead to an increase in the movement of unfit vehicles, he said