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‘Negligence, profit-seeking cause deaths on roads’

  • Published at 03:12 pm May 24th, 2019
Representatives of 27 organizations form a human chain demanding safe transportation, in front of Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital in Dhaka on Friday, May 24, 2019 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

A group of 27 civil society organizations has stated this at a human chain

A human chain for safe transportation was formed in Dhaka on Friday morning.

Protesters claimed that negligence, plus the intent of transport owners and drivers to increase profits, are causing deaths on the roads.

The event was organized by 27 organizations, including: Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan (Bapa), the WBB Trust, the Department of Environmental Science of Stamford University, Families United Against Road Accidents (FUARA), and the Dhaka Jubo Foundation, among others. 

Representatives of these organizations gathered in front of Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital (SHSMCH) to begin their protest.

Under the banner that translates to: “Stop Death's March on the Roads, Ensure Safe Public Transportation,” members of the 27 organizations, as well as doctors of the civil society, participated in the human chain.

The activists participating in the human chain, also demanded that transport owners be brought to book as these road accidents are nothing short of murder.

Bapa representatives said around 64 people die every day, of which 14 are children, according to the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh (CIPRB).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 21,000 people in Bangladesh die, every year, because of road accidents; plus, over 3,409,300 people are injured in the accidents, leaving around 80,000 of them physically disabled.

Additionally, Bangladesh has incurred a loss of 1.6% in GDP—around Tk35,200 crore—because of expenditures due to road accidents, according United Nations Economic and Social Council.

The activists pressed for a 15-point demand during the human chain including: amending the Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1983; bringing transport owners to justice; removing defective vehicles from the roads; recruiting drivers who would receive a monthly salary instead of wages; making the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) more transparent and effective; plus launching a training academy in every district to enhance the skills of drivers, among others.