A live discussion program titled " Corona Dialogue Episode 29: Safe Roads for a Safe Life" was held at 11.00 am on Saturday (July 10) organized by Dhaka Ahsania Mission Health Sector.
A heroic freedom fighter Mir Mushtaque Ahmed Robi, Member of Parliament (Satkhira-02), Nadira Yasmin Jolly, Member of Parliament for Women Reserved seat-42, Khandaker Rakibur Rahman, Executive Director of Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority, Global Road Safety Advocacy and Grant Program Manager Taifur Rahman took part in the discussion. The discussants all are agreed that strict laws and their proper implementation are needed to prevent road accidents in Bangladesh. The program was moderated by Iqbal Masud, Director, Health and WASH Sector of Dhaka Ahsania Mission. Kazi Md. Shifun Newaz, Assistant Professor, Accident Research Institute of BUET, presented the keynote paper at the event. He said that according to the World Health Organization, about 1.3 million people die on the roads every year in the world, and 20 to 50 million non-fatal injuries occur. Road accidents are the 8 the leading cause of death in the world and the first leading cause of young people. He also said that the Road Transport Act 2018 has been implemented in Bangladesh by adding strict provisions for both drivers and pedestrians. However, there are still some gaps in the current law for which road users are being victims of violations and accidents. The government has again taken the initiative to amend the Act this year. It is imperative to include in the amended law specifying the speed of the vehicle, mandatory use of seatbelts for drivers and passengers, use of standard helmets, ensuring safe seats for children, etc.
Heroic freedom fighter Mir Mushtaque Ahmed Robi, MP said, " We have to change our mentality to prevent road accidents and abide by the law." He also emphasizes standard helmets and seatbelts for all.
He added that the driver must be thoroughly tested before being licensed. Licenses cannot be issued to incompetent or underage people/drivers.
Everyone needs to be aware of the law as well. Nadira Islam Jolly MP said, “One of the reasons for road accidents in Bangladesh is that we do not follow the law. Road accidents are constantly happening due to frequent and inattentive road crossings.
The present government has taken various steps for the development of the country. Of which Road Transport Act-2018 is significant. But we all have to be aware; we have to fulfill our responsibilities properly.
If the law is followed properly, it is possible to prevent road accidents.” Khandaker Rakibur Rahman, Executive Director of the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority, said, " We need to formulate short-term and long-term plans to prevent road accidents and implement them step by step." Taifur Rahman said that different countries around the world have been able to control road accidents through enacting strict law and its proper enforcement. Bangladesh also has strict laws. It is possible to reduce road accidents through some amendments and their proper implementation.
Note that the government has taken initiative to revise the existing law and Dhaka Ahsania Mission has submitted the recommendations to the concerned ministry for amending the significant sections.