Saturday, September 16, 2012
Road accidents have become an everyday thing in Bangladesh. A recent study has shown that in this country, on an average, eight people die from road crashes everyday. And in most cases, it is found that it is not the driver, but his helper – or the driver’s assistant – who is driving the vehicle. Such an incident took place last Sunday, where Abdul Baten, a businessman, was killed in Motijheel. When locals chased and surrounded the speeding bus, it was found that in the driver’s seat was actually an assistant, driving without a driving license.
Even though the assistant was rescued by the police after being thrashed by the mob, the angry mob set the vehicle ablaze. Later, the fire was drowsed by a unit from the fire service. Sadly, just only one day before this incident, fifteen lives were lost in another road crash. The accident occurred when an under-aged helper was driving a human hauler on the Rajshahi-Nouga highway, while its driver was collecting the fare from the passengers.
Soon, the vehicle collided head-on with a bus, killing ten people on spot. When people die from the reckless driving of unlicensed helpers, or amateur drivers run over pedestrians and run away, then how long will these accidents be considered as bad luck?
One after another road accident is now spilling blood on the roads. And no one in this country is safe from the risks and terrors of the roads. But for who’s guilt will the people of this country continue to die everyday? Apart from amateur drivers, vehicles without fitness certificates, narrow and depleted roads and drivers not complying with traffic rules, are also held responsible for these road accidents.
In developed nations, drivers cannot escape the punishment of a minor violation of traffic rules. But in our country, even when amateur and reckless drivers commit several accidents and kill people, there is no such example of punishing these drivers. If such practices continue, there is no doubt that the insecurity of the people in the streets and lawlessness would escalate.
Regarding road accidents, it can be said that if an accident occurs when a bus is being driven by its helper, such an incident is not only an accident. Irresponsibility, corruption and indiscipline within those associated with the roads and vehicles sector, has now become quite visible. Similarly, the mass demands for safety in the streets is growing stronger and stronger. Most of the time, agitated people are setting ablaze the vehicle when they fail to find the guilty driver.
Its is quite natural that the people will lose confidence on the rule of law and order, if it is not enforced properly. And protests and demonstrations would not be able to stop road accidents, if the entire system is not brought under rules and regulations. The government has to place its top priority on immediate implementation of traffic rules to protect the countrymen from street accidents. Transport owners and their worker unions should also play its role in raising awareness to curb road crashes.