Movements and protests have taken place demanding safe roads in the country. The concerned quarters of the government are also aware of the main reasons behind road accidents. Researchers and experts have come up with solution too.
The motor vehicle act too has been modified following the safe road movement seeking maximum prison sentence to be raised, but to no avail. Death on roads continues unabated. Reports pour in everyday of people losing their lives or being maimed on the roads.
Accidents and untimely deaths are sudden, unnatural and tragic, but such tragedy has become a norm. It seems such a huge number of deaths on the roads are our fate. It is unfortunate when a national problem appears normal or we get used to it just because no effective measures were taken.
One among the main reasons for the high rate of deaths is reckless driving. Drivers are responsible in most of the serious road accidents. The driver of a passenger bus crashed into a group of students waiting on the footpath in front of their college along Airport Road in the capital in July last year. What kind of road accident is it when a bus crashes into the footpath killing pedestrians? Why does it happen? This is not uncommon even and happens every now and then.
A speeding passenger bus hit a stationary truck from behind at Gopalganj on Friday night killing four and injuring 14. The bus that ran over singer Parvez Rob in Uttara in the capital on 5 September was being driven by the assistant of the driver. The driver did not even have a licence. Another Khagrachhari bound tourist bus from Dhaka crashed into an electric pole as the driver, who was actually an assistant, lost control.
Reckless driving is a much discussed issue. The law was drawn up to address this, but it's not working as the responsible drivers are not being detained or punished. No act can prove useful unless it is implemented properly. Such dillydallying in implementing the law is due to the unwarranted pressure from the workers and owners of the transport sector, backed by politics.
Negligence and corruption of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) contribute to license-less driving, assistants taking the steering wheel, fake driving licenses. Allegations are prevalent over the procedures of issuing driving licenses. Road, transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader reacted over the corruption of this authority a few days ago.
First of all, BRTA must be corruption-free and issuing fake driving licenses must be stopped. Extensive drives must be run to stop driving by unlicenced drivers and their assistants. Finally, responsible drivers and others responsible for the accidents must be tried and punished.