DhakaTribune
Sunday January 21, 2018 05:44 PM

A trend that has not stopped

A trend that has not stopped
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

How many more such accidents need to take place, how many more lives need to be lost, before the authorities do something about this?

At the beginning of the year, according to data collected by various NGOs, Bangladesh had seen close to 700 deaths and 2,055 injuries from almost 600 accidents in just the first 48 days.

This trend has not changed.

With the constant flouting of traffic rules combined with a lack of accountability and impunity in this regard, is it any surprise that this has continued?

It should come as less of a shock, then, that 13 vehicles collided one after the other on Bangabandhu Bridge in Tangail yesterday which, thankfully, resulted in no deaths, but still led to 30 people being injured.

This occurred even after roads were blocked for three hours due to heavy fog.

What this speaks for is an almost ingrained quality amongst the average Bangladeshi motorists to drive recklessly, to speed, and to constantly overtake.

This is not the kind of road behaviour that can be allowed to go on.

Bangladesh already suffers from one of the highest rates of road accidents in the world, and a continuation of such practices will only serve to worsen an already terrible situation.

There are many ways authorities can try and fix this: For one, we need accountability for breaking traffic rules. For another, there need to be a better vetting process when issuing driver’s licences.

Another major problem is that our highways are not well equipped to handle the amount of traffic they see: In this regard, making major highways four lanes could be an option.

The primary purpose is to make travelling to and from cities safe for the average citizen.

How many more such accidents need to take place, how many more lives need to be lost, before the authorities do something about this?

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