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Schools must assign staff to help students cross roads safely: Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the educational institutions up to higher secondary level must assign their own staff to make sure their students cross roads safely.

“Though traffic police will be there to help them, the school authorities must be careful and their own staff will have to be there so that students can cross roads safely…I think our Education Ministry can issue a directive to the schools —from primary to higher secondary levels– in this regard,” she said.

The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating the four newly constructed projects implemented under the Road Transport and Highways Division, joining a programme virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.

The projects are Pedestrian Underpass adjacent to Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School under Dhaka Airport

Highway, Sylhet City Bypass-Garrison Link 4-lane Highway, Balukhali (Cox’s Bazar)-Ghundhum (Bandarban) Border Link-Road, and 500-meter Bridge over Chengi River at Naniarchar in Rangamati district.

The PM asked the Education Ministry to take initiatives for directing every educational institution up to higher secondary level to keep its staff on adjacent road points to help students and prevent the loss of lives to accidents.

Because, she said, students are reluctant about paying heed to the instructions of others in many cases. “If there’s anyone from the school authorities, they’ll follow his or her instructions,” she said, adding that every school will take the initiative on their own.

The Prime Minister asked the students to follow traffic rules during their movement on roads. “In every school and college, students should be taught about traffic rules from their very childhood. Every school, college and university will have to take this step,” she said.

Hasina asked people not to attack car drivers soon after any accident, not considering who is responsible for that. Otherwise, it might lead to further accidents when the driver would try to escape the attack.

“There’s a tendency to do that in our country. If any accident takes place, all start beating the driver and, in some cases, drivers are killed in such mob attacks,” she said, adding that it needs to be considered and found out the reasons behind an accident.

Pointing at the pedestrians, the PM said everyone needs to have knowledge about traffic rules and follow those.

She called upon the pedestrians to follow traffic rules, never to use mobile phones while crossing roads, railways or walking on footpaths, not to run abruptly to cross the roads, as well as not to take law into their own hands in case of an accident.

Hasina asked the drivers not to hand over the steering of vehicles to their helpers who have no competency to drive heavy vehicles.

Mentioning that the use of motor vehicles is on the rise in the country, she said there is scarcity of drivers and so the government is giving importance to training new drivers up to the upazila level.

The government is constructing rest houses for long-haul vehicle drivers, with goods-laden vehicle parking and other modern facilities, alongside national highways, and already constructed two rest houses in Cumilla and Sirajganj.

If the pedestrians and the drivers remain alert on roads, the number of accidents would largely decline, she said.

Hasina said the Awami League government has relentlessly been working to keep roads and highways safe and free throughout the country, including the capital.

In 2018, the Prime Minister had promised to construct the underpass, four days after Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, first-year students of the college, were killed as a bus ploughed into some students in front of Kurmitola General Hospital on Airport Road in the capital on July 29.

Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation of the underpass on August 12, 2018. On August 4 in that year, she provided the five buses for the students of the college after the family members of the two students and the principal of the college met her on August 2.

Public representatives, government officials, army officers and other concerned were connected from three other places –the underpass area in Dhaka, Naniarchar and Sylhet Cantonment.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader was present at the virtual event conducted by PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus.

Chief of Army Staff SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, Secretary of Road Transport and Highways Division Md Nazrul Islam, Engineer in Chief of Bangladesh Army Major General Ibne Fazal Shayekhuzzaman spoke on the occasion. The projects were implemented by the Bangladesh Army.

Source: United News of Bangladesh