The Sitakunda portion of the key Dhaka-Chittagong Highway has virtually turned into a death trap with road accidents claiming scores of lives over the months.
Transport experts have blamed reckless driving by unskilled and unlicensed drivers for the menace.
Frequent road accidents and loss of lives prompted Sitakunda residents to form a 40-km long human chain on Saturday demanding the administration to take urgent steps to curb the road fatalities.
Morshed Hossain Chowdhury, convener of the human chain program, said that as many as 33 people were killed in the Sitakunda portion of the highway between January and March.
“Road accidents in this area claimed as many as 142 lives in the last one year alone. The actual figure will be higher than the data provided by the highway police,” claimed Chowdhury, also chairman of Kumira Union Parishad.
Collisions, vehicles plunging into roadside ditches, and fatalities while crossing the road have become an everyday occurrence in the area, he said adding that although the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway had been upgraded into a four-lane highway, traffic management was still not in sight.
Sitakunda Samity-Chittagong President Gias Uddin said wrong lane driving and plying of unfit vehicles must be stopped to curb road crashes.
He also held the human haulers driven by unlicensed drivers responsible for many fatal accidents.
“To tackle the problem, traffic management system should be upgraded, illegal roadside shops should be evicted, and overpasses should be constructed at strategic points of the highway,” Gias said.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, traffic engineering expert Subhash Barua said that illegal parking on the highway, tendency to flout traffic rules, and reckless driving by unskilled and unlicensed drivers were responsible for the road crashes.
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