Tuesday, September 21

273 killed in Eid rush, highest in 6 years

Motorcycles were the most lethal form of transport, recording 93 deaths in 87 accidents

Road accidents during the recent Eid-ul-Azha holiday rush claimed 273 lives in just 15 days, even though long-haul buses were operating for just eight of those days, according to the Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Shamiti (BJKS).

At least 240 road crashes occurred from July 14 to 28, BJKS said, while presenting its road accident report-2021 at a press briefing on Friday.

Members of the road accidents monitoring cell of the organization prepared the report collecting information from widely published and trustworthy national, regional, daily newspapers and online portals over the 15 days covered.

The report also said 447 people were injured in the accidents that occurred at a time when lakhs of people hit the road to go home and celebrate the Eid festival with their families — home being wherever one’s family may be permanently resident, either village or district away from urban centers.

The report also stated that among the deceased, 27 were women, 17 children, 53 pedestrians, 16 transport workers, and 87 drivers.

BJKS also tallied the types of accidents most prevalent. They find that roughly a quarter (25.8%) are head-on collisions, and even more overwhelmingly, over 44% feature pedestrians struck or overrun by vehicles. A little over 18% are cases of the driver losing control and falling into a ditch.

Like other years, motorcycles were the most lethal form of transport, recording 93 deaths in 87 accidents. This accounts for 36.25% of the total accidents and 34.06 % of the total deaths recorded.

Of the total accidents, 3.33% occurred in Dhaka and 0.83% in Chittagong.

If fatalities and accidents on rail and waterways are added to the road accidents, a total of 295 people died and 488 sustained injuries in 262 accidents occurring jointly on the country’s road, rail, and waterways during the said period.

Mozammel Haque Chowdhury, general secretary of the organization, said: “Despite limited movement of people in the strict lockdown, the number of road accidents and deaths has increased comparatively during this Eid due to the lack of surveillance by the concerned authorities.”

He strongly demanded that the government prioritize road safety and take necessary measures.

The Eid-ul-Azha was celebrated on July 21 amid the Delta variant of Covid-19 wreaking havoc across the country, shattering records every day.

The lockdown restrictions were lifted from July 14, midnight, to July 23 morning.

Although public transport services were allowed to operate during that window, the number of road accidents and deaths over this year’s Eid ul Azha rush was the highest in 6 years.

However, after the lockdown started on July 23, the number of deaths in road accidents started decreasing from July 25.

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