Deaths on the road did not stop. Three members of the same family died in a road accident at Jatrabari on Friday morning. Students staged a protest at Rampura Bridge in the capital in protest of the accident. Students of various schools, colleges and universities around Rampura took part in it. Participants in the demonstration said, “The government was given ultimatum to meet our 11-point demand, including ensuring safe roads by 31 December. But the demands were not implemented. So we are on the road again.”

This is not just a message to the transport owners and workers but also to the policy makers of the state. How long will the chaos on the road continue? Everything is out of control.

Students took to the streets on 29 November last year to demand safe roads after an SSC examinee was killed in a race between two buses near Rampura Bridge. When the results were published, it was seen that he got GPA-5. But he could not see the results. Are our authorities aware of how many dreams are lost on the road and in the waterway?

There is no way to avoid the responsibility by calling this an accident. If someone causes a death deliberately, it amounts to murder. Under the Road Transport Act enacted in 2018, the maximum penalty for intentional accident was life time imprisonment. It is a matter of concern that the owners and workers of the transport did not allow the law to be enforced. They have also gone on strike against the law. According to statistics, the number of road accidents in Bangladesh has more than doubled in the past 10 years. Though the road transport and bridges minister gives political speeches almost every day, he does not say anything regarding road accidents.

Irregularities prevail in every sphere in road transport. It is hard to believe that the people involved do not know the law. They know that they will not be punished for breaking the law. For this reason they repeatedly break the law. They are also ignoring the instructions given by prime minister Sheikh Hasina to ensure safe roads.

If the safe road is ensured, not only the passengers will be safe, public transport workers will also be safe. The law that the government has made cannot be ignored. The person who killed the passenger by throwing him off the bus should be arrested immediately and brought to book. At the same time, appropriate compensation should be given to the family of the slain passenger.

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