Bangladesh will observe its 6th National Road Safety Day Saturday even as the number of accidents in the country continues to spiral upward despite growing public demand and government efforts to make the roads and highways safe.

The country will observe the day with the theme "follow the law on the road, return safely home" when a rising number of vehicles, reckless driving and jaywalking, shortage of manpower at key agencies, including police, contribute to the growing number of accidents.

Jatri Kalyan Samity today demanded that the victims of road accidents be provided financial assistance on time with the enactment of a provision under the Road Transport Act 2018 urgently.

"Calculations of the Accident Research Institute (ARI) of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology show that the loss in road accidents in the last three years stood at Tk1.09 lakh crore," Secretary-General of the Jatri Kalyan Samity Mozammel Haque Chowdhury said.

"Based on police data, the ARI said 54 percent of the people killed in road-highway accidents in the country in the last decade were aged 16 to 40. And 18.5 percent of those killed in accidents were children below 15 years."

Although the Road Transport Act 2018 provides for compensation of Tk5 lakh to the family of the deceased and Tk3 lakh to the injured from the financial assistance fund for road accident victims, the process of providing this compensation has not started even after three years of the law coming into effect, Mozammel said.

He demanded that the financial assistance programme for the victims of road accidents be launched urgently.

Mozammel also called for the activation of the National Road Safety Council to cut the loss of lives and damages in accidents.

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