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An irrational demand

  • Published at 06:20 pm February 28th, 2017
An irrational demand

Suffice it to say, the Transport Workers’ Federation’s nationwide public transport strike makes no sense.

The strike was announced, effective from 6am Wednesday morning, to protest the life sentence handed out against bus driver Jamir Hossain.

Jamir Hossain was responsible for the deaths of prominent film-maker Tareque Masud and journalist Mishuk Munier. At the time of the accident, he was sleep-deprived, had no valid driver’s licence, and no excuse to be operating a vehicle.

In a country where road accidents kill dozens every day, and buses are driven recklessly, a sentence that comes down hard on drivers who break the law is laudable.

What exactly is the federation’s grief? Should an unlicensed driver be allowed to drive on our streets? Should reckless drivers who take lives be allowed get away with impunity?

No.

Bangladesh needs to make its roads safe for citizens, and punish those responsible for senseless deaths on the road.

Just because a significant part of the population is reliant on the cheaper form of transport buses provide, transport workers cannot make unreasonable demands.

Instead of striking, bus services everywhere should take a hard look at themselves.

They should regulate their services, and refrain from dangerous and illegal practices to cut corners.

It is only through a drastic improvement in the way they operate that the public transport industry in Bangladesh can go on.