Road disorder needs proper implementation of law02 April 2023
Fatal road crashes continue to rise in Bangladesh despite government steps to halve the number of injuries and deaths from such crashes by 2030 as per the target of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. Before the SDGs were set, the government had failed to cut deadly road accidents and resultant deaths and injuries in the country by 50 per cent as per an earlier similar target set 28 years ago. Road safety campaigners said the government is far from the improvements needed to achieve the road accident SDG as it has failed to ensure safety on roads.
Many initiatives have been taken, including the enactment of a law, and the formation of a task force and committees which gave recommendations from time to time, but almost all of the measures just exist on paper. The measures conflict with the interest of transport owners and a section of lawmakers and law enforcement agency members.
Numerous irregularities, including the movement of unfit vehicles on roads, no control over vehicle speeds, drivers without licences or proper licences and a poor traffic management system, have plagued the road transport system - resulting in high casualties. Incomplete and under-reporting of road crashes is also another problem in achieving the goal, said the experts and campaigners, urging the government to bring order to roads and its systems to ensure road safety.
In 2017, the 8th National Road Safety Strategic Action Plan was adopted and in 2018, Road Transport Act was enacted. However, the number of road crashes and the resultant fatalities and injuries went up from 2011 to 2020. The government needs to focus on road safety.