DURING the Eid holidays this year over 50 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a number of road accidents. The worst one was in Savar on Friday that claimed lives of 22 people.
The reasons of accident as cited by media included overtaking, high speed, reckless driving etc. Besides, the dense fog was another reason. The heart-rending images of accidents give us the impression about the deplorable state of traffic management in the country, especially on the highways.
The sordid story is that there was no trace of the highway patrol police to manage the speeding vehicles with appropriate devices like fog signals, slow-down signs, walkie-talkies, creating diversion channels, etc. The accidents are the glaring examples how human lives are cheaply treated in Bangladesh.
When it was obvious that because of Eid holidays a large number of vehicles would travel in both directions on the highways, the traffic control authorities simply preferred to stay at home. No doubt some initiatives on their part would have saved those lives. In any modern country, during national festivals and during natural calamities like excessive fog or snow, special contingents of trained personnel are deployed on the roads and highways to prevent fatal accidents. Such preventive measures go a long way to save lives and keep the roads operable. The administration in those countries is aware that it will have to answer to the people if one life is lost for lack of initiative on its part. Perhaps that is what is lacking in this country where the word 'accountability' is not for the public servants.
We can only console the families of the unfortunate victims of the road accidents. But we hope the authorities concerned will find out why no measures were taken beforehand to prevent such fatal accidents on the roads.
Niketon, Gulshan, Dhaka