Dhaka, Bangladesh
Will deaths on road end?

Will deaths on road end?

People are growing restive as there is no sign of let-up in the road crashes. Everyday people are getting killed and maimed on our roads. This proves that road safety has become something fictional in our country. On Tuesday an Agargaon-bound bus hit a schoolgirl Disha in the city while she was crossing the road. The girl died on the spot. The death of the girl sparked an angry protest and the locals blocked the road and set the killer bus on fire. This is not the solitary premature death on the road. A lot of children meet their tragic death in road mishaps every year plunging their families in perpetual gloom. According to a report, well over 1900 people have perished in road accidents this year until now. This is indeed an alarming figure. Road crashes bring about disability, death and economic collapse for families in Bangladesh. We have time and again expressed our concern about the staggering number of road fatalities, but to no avail. It seems the authorities are in deep slumber as no significant measures have so far been taken to prevent the unnatural deaths on roads. Rundown vehicles, reckless driving by unskilled drivers, roads in poor shape are identified as the major causes of road crashes. There are things drivers do can be extremely dangerous. Some drivers being impatient tailgate deliberately for overtaking. It is relatively easy to get a driving licence in our country by using shady means. Bangladesh has one of the lowest conviction rates of errant drivers and exemplary punishment is very rare. Because of the protracted and faulty process of investigation the offenders either get light punishment or escape scot-free because of lack of evidence. The authorities must spot the longevity-expired vehicles and stop those plying on the roads, identify the unskilled drivers and punish those who are responsible for so many deaths on roads. The roads must be in good condition and there should be separate lanes for slow-moving vehicles. If these small steps are taken, we think, the number of road mishaps will decline for sure. The drivers should undergo a rigorous test before they get the driving licence. The law enforcement agencies should be on the alert to stop rash driving by uncouth drivers. And finally the authorities must take a well coordinated plan to make roads safe for commuters.

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