February saw the deaths of a total of 427 people in road accidents.
That is more than 15 deaths a day.
This is not including the hundreds more who were injured.
Accidents have become such a regular part of our daily commute that it has become the norm.
This cannot go on.
The factors are obvious: Massive corruption, a lack of implementation when it comes to traffic rules, impunity when it comes to the breaking of traffic laws -- the list goes on.
And then, when the Transport Workers’ Federation has the gall to call a strike to veritably excuse the recklessness of one of its members -- namely, Jamir Hossain, the driver responsible for the deaths of five people, including film-maker Tareque Masud and journalist Mishuk Munier -- it is understood that the traffic situation in the country has, to put it mildly, gotten out of hand.
How many more times must the Bangladeshi public put up with the chaos that the streets have become?
How does it bode for Bangladesh, a country striving for middle-income status within the near future, that its citizens cannot risk doing something simple as going from one place of the city to another without risking their lives?
It is a sad day indeed when we as a country have accepted the state of affairs which have led to such a situation, and continue to propagate a culture of flouting traffic laws.
Authorities need to understand that such a situation is not sustainable.
More stringent implementation of the laws must be put in place, and law-breakers must be held accountable and brought to book.
No more can Bangladesh continue to be a nation whose roads pave the way to its citizens’ deaths.