Roads & Drivers are Now part of the “Death Trap” – Can Minister Reshape This? – Mission Impossible

August 10, 2012


Road Accidents along with Boat/Ferry accidents in Bangladesh have become a major factor in loss of life. This is a great challenge for the Minister responsible for that department. Last Thursdays figures alone shows how dangerous the roads in Bangladesh are.

Statistics show that the roads and highways of Bangladesh are among the deadliest in the world. In its latest report, the Center for Injury Prevention and Research said that around 12,800 people die in road accidents each year. In a 2009 survey, the World Health Organization put the figure at 20,000.

Yet the fatalities continue relentlessly. On one single day last week, 15 people including two journalists and a politician died in road accidents in various parts of the country.

Thursday (9th of August 2012) accident figures;

At least 16 people were killed – includes professionals.  85 injured in road mishaps in different parts of the country.

Narsingdi – Four people killed

Comilla – five people killed in cluding a senior bank official – 4 injured

Faridpur – two killed

One each in, , Dhaka, Chittagong, Khagrachhari, Lalmonirhat and Gazipur.

Narsingdi, four people killed and 20 others injured in a road accident near Morjal area of Raipura upazila on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway of the district

Saheber Bazar –  A Chittagong-bound covered van from Brahmanbaria hit a three-wheelers coming from opposite direction at about 7:00am, leaving its three passengers dead on the spot and two others injured.

The above figures shows that more people are killed in Bangladesh in road crashes every day compared to other types of death.

Last year about this time the nation was in mourning after a truck full of schoolchildren returning from a football match crashed into a flooded roadside ditch killing at least 44.

The tragedy, which also left 12 survivors in critical condition, occurred in Mirsarai sub-district of southeastern Chittagong. Local residents said about 60-70 students mostly aged 12-18 were packed in the back of the truck.

Local media reported that the driver, who later fled the scene, was talking on a mobile phone when the accident happened.

“There are several parties who should be taking the blame for this painful accident: the school administration, the driver, local authorities and law enforcement. All those students should never have been in that truck.” This is what the law should prevent.

Incompetent Drivers are the Main cause, not bad road conditions as Government Claims: 

A scenario below also shows a clear disrespect for the traffic signals by the bus marked with red arrow. This is a day to day scene in the capital of Dhaka, bus and truck drivers are known as the culprits in most accidents. Statistics does not show that poor road conditions are the main cause of accidents, only a cause. Hence lack of funds to fix roads cannot be an excuse by any Government or Minister, as has been claimed by a previous Minister.


To see the video of this accident click the link

Like the above scenario, it has now been established that the causes of these death are due to enforcement of traffic rules, poorly educated drivers, drunk driving and unfit vehicles. Also, overtaking is a major factor in accidents.

Most analysts agree that as long as the authorities remain unconcerned about road safety, things will not change and preventable deaths will go unchecked. The Minister’s recent task has been to catch the unscrupulous staff in the department in an effort to reshape the Department. Now his task will be to reshape the whole system by removing the unfit drivers and unfit vehicles from the road.


According to the World Bank Research carried out a while ago the outcome is as follows:

Number of fatalities from road motor vehicle accidents resulting in at least one person killed (with 30 days of the accident’s occurrence) per 10,000 road motor vehicles registered. Included in the accidents are: collisions between road vehicles, between road vehicles and pedestrians, between road vehicles and animals or fixed obstacles and with one road vehicle alone. Included are collisions between road and rail vehicles. Multi-vehicle collisions are counted as only one accident provided that any successive collisions happen at very short intervals (Glossary of Transport Statistics, 2003).,,contentMDK:20694180~pagePK:34004173~piPK:34003707~theSitePK:579598,00.html

The research though carried out in 2003, coupled with our above statistics, shows that very little has changed. On the contrary it can be argued, that a problem identified in 2003 has increased and continues to increase with little effort by any government to date to seek a solution. It is now a matter for Minister Obaidul Kader to see if he can come up with a magic solution to this task which appeared as Mission Impossible  task for his predecessors.