The financial loss from road accidents could cross Tk 36,000 crore this year. More than Tk 70,000 crore worth of losses was incurred in road accidents in 2019 and 2020.
Prof Mohammad Hadiuzzaman, director of BUET's Accident Research Institute made the remarks at a conference on road safety at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity's Sagar-Runi auditorium on Thursday. The event was jointly organized by Bangladesh Initiative (BI) and Drivers Training Center (DTC).
The professor informed that according to the police, there were 3,937 road accidents in 2019. About 4,358 people lost their lives in these accidents. More than 8,240 people were injured. In 2019, the financial loss in road accidents was about Tk 38,000 crore. In 2020, the amount of this financial loss was more than Tk 32000 crore.
"About 25 pc of our road accidents occur in October, November and December. Accidents increase due to fog on the roads and highways. The economic loss from the number of accidents so far this September stood at Tk 29,780 crore. This means that the financial loss of this year's road accident will exceed that of 2019,” he said.
He added that according to BUET's research, the death rate of young people (under the age of 30) is higher in a road accident, due to most of them being motorcycle riders.
He further said that according to the study, the number of motorcycle accidents in 2019 was 20.2 pc. It has now gone up to 23 pc. One of the reasons behind the increase in motorcycle accidents is the increase in motorcycle riders who have no training. The number of motorcycles in 2016 was eight lakh which increased to 32 lakh in 2020.
Speaking on the occasion, Osman Ali, General Secretary of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation said that there are more than 200 accident-prone areas, of which 188 have to be fixed. They have proposed to the government to fix those areas as soon as possible.
“If these spots are fixed, road accidents will be reduced by 40 pc. There are 105 causes of road accidents and the driver is responsible for only 4 reasons. However, in the event of an accident, the driver is blamed before there is any proof. This situation needs to change,” he said.
Nurnabi Shimu, Chairman of the Drivers Training Center, said “The BRTA has only 200 trainers. The government has undertaken a project to train 1400 trainers. Of these, there are now 800 new trainers.”
Abul Bashar, President of Motor Driving Instructors Association, Badal Ahmed, President of Driver Welfare Association and others were present on the occasion.