Deaths from road accidents continue

Commuters deserve safer roads

Almost every day we are bombarded with reports of horrendous road accidents, deaths and injuries. It is shocking to learn that at least 13 people were killed in two separate road accidents in Chuadanga and Mymensingh districts on Saturday. 

On Friday, we saw the tragic death of Reshma Nahar Ratna, a school-teacher and an aspiring mountaineer, who was run over and crushed under the wheels of a microbus as she was cycling on the streets of Dhaka. Reckless driving was possibly the reason behind this tragedy. 

If we scrutinize the way road accidents are taking place in Bangladesh, we can say that most of the road safety measures taken over the last few years have gone in vein. 

Every time the gravity of road safety issues gets intensified when any student dies of road accident. After every incident of road crash we hear pledges from the BRTA, police, and other transport authorities. But all fade away with the passage of time, which is why the procession of deaths on the roads never stops.

Unfit vehicles should not be allowed on the 

roads and campaigns must be conducted to 

raise awareness of traffic rules.

Transportation experts blame unfit vehicles, unskilled drivers and reckless driving as the core reasons behind the staggering number of road accidents. Many bus owners recruit drivers considering personal relationship and recommendations of known people without properly examining their driving skill. 

What is more saddening is that a number of unscrupulous BRTA officials provide licence to the unskilled drivers and fitness certificates to the unfit vehicles without any test. As a result, a large number of unskilled drivers get chance to ply their vehicles on roads illegally. When the authorities concerned cannot maintain integrity in terms of giving certificates to drivers and vehicles, it is not pragmatic indeed to expect those drivers who buy licence through unfair means will maintain discipline on the roads. 

Too many lives are being lost on our roads every day, and it’s time the government put all-out efforts to bring some order to the road. It is high time that Bangladesh took stern actions against reckless driving. Also, in order to ensure road safety for all, the design and quality of the roads and highways must be improved; unfit vehicles should not be allowed on the roads and campaigns must be conducted to raise awareness of traffic rules.