At least 63 people were killed and 198 others injured in road accidents only on highways passing through the district in the last one and half years, mainly because of reckless driving and plying of small vehicles, reports United News of Bangladesh.
Many more people also lost their lives in road crashes that took place on other roads of the district during the period. However, the exact number is not available with the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).
Atiur Rahman, assistant director of the local BRTA office, said the casualties took place in a total of 39 accidents on the highways.
About 20 of the accidents, more than half, took place on a two-km stretch from Dhuldi to Kamarpur on the national highway-7 under the Faridpur road division when some 25 people died and at least 50 others were injured with many getting crippled.
On August 24, 13 people died in three road accidents at Dhuldi, Kamarpur and Talma on the Faridpur-Dhaka highway within a span of just two hours.
On June 5 last, six people were killed when a bus crashed into a tree in the first hour of Eid-ul-Fitr in Dhuldi rail gate area on Dhaka-Khulna highway.
On February 6, 2018, six people, including an Indian citizen, were killed and at least 22 passengers were injured when a Dhaka-bound bus from Kolkata fell into a ditch after is driver lost his control over the steering while giving passage to a motorcycle in the same area.
Mostafizur Rahman, Highway Police Super of Faridpur region, thinks road accidents have been on the rise following reckless driving, lack of drivers’ skills and plying of unfit vehicles on the highways.
He said the road crashes will see a decrease to a large extent if the plying of small vehicles can be controlled on the highways. “We’re trying to control the speed of vehicles using speed gun,” the SP said, adding that they were facing a manpower shortage to this end.
Contacted, Executive Engineer of Roads and Highways Department KM Nakibul Bari said: “Although many vehicles have no fitness, their drivers are driving those at a fast speed as roads are in a good shape.”
He also blamed the plying of small vehicles like ‘nosimon’ and ‘korimon’ on the roads for the deaths of a large number of people in road accidents, and underscored the need for abiding by the rules and regulations to check accidents.
Local transport workers told that the accidents are taking place as the illegal small vehicles are plying the roads and highways in violation of the rules and regulation.
Golam M Nasir, general secretary of Faridpur Motor Workers’ Union, said, “I don’t believe that the workers are alone responsible for the accidents. Everyone moving through the roads and highways should become aware about the road mishaps.”
Meanwhile, women leader and BLAST Coordinator Advocate Shipra Goshwami said the accidents are on the rise due to unplanned roads, faulty vehicles and reckless attitude of the drivers. “Casualties in road accidents on roads and highways will come down if the law is enforced strictly and people along with the transport drivers become aware.”