Amid restrictions on movement during the lockdown, at least 323 people died in road accidents during the Eid days, reported Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity (BJKS).
622 people were also injured in 318 road accidents in 15 days from 7 May to 21 May, revealed the BJKS in a press briefing on Sunday at the National Press Club in the capital.
The BJKS made the report analysing news on accidents in the roads, rail and waterways published in different media.
Surprisingly, in spite of the lockdown, this year the highest number of accidents has taken place during the Eid season in the six years from 2016 to 2021, it also reported.
"No more than 10% of people travelled during the Eid holidays compared to the previous years. Lack of proper steps and attention to control traffic accidents are responsible for the rise in road accidents this year," said Mozammel Haque Chowdhury, general secretary of the BJKS.
"This year the government had full focus on controlling Covid-19, but we tried to draw its attention to the issue (of road accidents) in several of our statements," he said, emphasising that road accidents are as important an issue as the pandemic, considering the losses it causes.
Mozammel urged the government to recognise road accidents to be as fatal as coronavirus and to take necessary steps to prevent them.
The BJKS also mentioned some reasons for accidents, including the high speed of vehicles, lack of road signs, defects in highways, and faulty transport.
The organisation reported that as always, motorcycle accidents were at the top of the list of accidents – 45.28%. These accidents claimed the lives of 139 people (43.03%) and injured 199 individuals (31.99%).
At the press briefing, Abdul Huq, transport expert and a director of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), said there is no facility for providing training to motorcycle riders in the country. Nor is vehicle fitness checked properly by the authorities when it comes to motorcycles.
"All these failings make travel on the roads, vulnerable and accident prone. Good governance and appropriate policies are needed to improve this situation," he continued.
Finally, the BJKS also placed some recommendations to bring down the number of road accidents, including identifying faulty vehicles, setting up different lanes for different kinds of vehicles, and ensuring the quality of roads.