Reckless driving, unaware citizens, negligent authorities—all behind road fatalities
Ashiq Rahman: Gover-nment Titumir College student Rajib was subjected to death in a mad rush of two bus drivers in the capital’s Karwan Bazar area. Reckless driving snuffed out the life of Rojina, the housemaid of Syed Ishtiaq Reza.
A child lost one of him limbs after being knocked by a truck in Bogura on April 22. The same day, a rickshaw-puller lost his leg as a private car knocked him in Cox’s Bazar.
A bus driver died in a competition over establishing dominance on the road the next day. Two days before the incident, a rickshaw-puller died in Farmgate. In a latest road tragedy, a Dhaka Tribune senior executive died on Mayor Hanif Flyover on Thursday.
At least nine such fatalities, resulted from whimsical driving recently, shook off the country.
Neither of those is accident nor murder, or not even murder attempt—a matter that left the masses agitated.
Three of the ill-fated succumbed to their injuries. This has been a regular phenomenon on the roads and highways. Tension and panic among the commuters are rising due to the rampant carelessness of the drivers of buses, minibus, coasters and trucks. They are always in fear and panic of a potential accident on roads.
Experts say addiction to drugs and reckless attitude of drivers, irregularities, bribery, extortion, carelessness of pedestrians and negligence of the authorities concerned are to blame for the death spree on roads.
Dr Mizanur Rahman, former chairman of National Human Rights Commission, said the society used to protest any inhuman and cruel act, but that kind of social force has weakened a lot.
“We don’t see such a spirit any longer, for the rule of law is in a poor state. The situation has become so weak that every citizen is worried about own safety. The situation of roads these days coupled with reckless driving is killing a lot of people. Are we raising our voice against the accidents boldly?” he said.
Urban expert Dr Nazrul Islam said the authorities concerned are so negligent about the issue. Most of the bus owners, drivers and staff are not educated. They don’t even understand what is good for them. They are unaware and not interest to follow the laws. They don’t even face any pressure.
Political power and the administration are so weak, which is the reason for the situation. The people too are not that aware of the situation as they risk their lives while cross the roads in most of the cases. If there was transportation law, they would follow it. They would use Zebra Crossing and foot over-bridges. Bus drivers don’t have training and licence. The laws are not being implemented due to corruption.
Human rights activist Khushi Kabir said the drivers lack professional knowledge. If all obeyed the law, there could have a much lower cases of road casualties.
Nirapad Sarak Chai Chairman Ilias Kanchan said the bus drivers are impatient and never want to follow traffic signals. They need to be trained and imparted academic lesson. The passengers and pedestrians also need to be more careful and responsible in dealing with traffic rules.