The number of road fatalities has increased by nearly nine percent in one year.
A total of 5,516 road accidents claimed 7,855 lives and injured 13,330 people in 2019, according to the Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samiti, a passenger welfare platform. The number of road accident deaths was 7,221 in 2018.
Meanwhile, 685 accidents in railways and waterways in 2019 caused fatalities to 688 and injuries to nearly 1,000 people.
In waterway accidents, 375 more people went missing.
Bangladesh Jatri Kallyan Samiti revealed the latest death statistics in transport accidents on Saturday at a press conference in Dhaka. It collected the data on transport accidents from newspaper reports.
Mozzamel Haque Chowdhury, secretary general of the organisation, identified reckless driving, faulty roads, unfit vehicles, the inefficiency of drivers and a lack of implementation of the transport-related law as major reasons for the increase in transport accidents and fatalities.
Some other reasons he mentioned include drivers' tendency of talking over mobile phones while driving, occupation of footpaths and carelessness of passengers and pedestrians.
Last week, Nirapad Sarak Chai, an organisation campaigning for road safety in Bangladesh, also published a report, claiming that the number of road accidents and deaths increased "alarmingly" in 2019.
Film actor Ilias Kanchan, who spearheads the organisation, blamed untrained and unskilled drivers, unfit vehicles, poor traffic management, poor quality of roads, reckless driving and lack of awareness among people, political will and enforcement of laws for the increased number of road fatalities.
He said around 47 percent of the countrywide accidents in 2019 were caused by buses, trucks and covered vans. Meanwhile, motorcycles alone caused 23 percent of accidents.
According to Ilias Kanchan's organisation, most of the fatal accidents occurred in Mymensingh followed by Dhaka and Chattogram respectively. The lowest number of fatal accidents occurred in Jhalkathi and Shariatpur.
Ilias Kanchan recommended enforcement of the Road Transport Act 2018, increasing awareness programmes, the inclusion of road safety issues in textbooks, standard highways and roads and footpaths, arranging training facilities for drivers to prevent road accidents.
Meanwhile, a government report prepared based on data from 2009 to 2016 said around 3,000 people were killed on average every year in road accidents.
However, transport expert Professor Shamsul Hoque said the number of people killed in road accidents is much higher than what the government statistics show.
"We have seen in a study that the government report is grossly underreported. The study shows that the number is three times bigger than that claimed in government reports. The World Health Organisation says the number is seven times bigger."