• Tuesday, May 21, 2019
  • Last Update : 12:43 pm

Murderers behind wheels

  • Published at 11:23 pm May 18th, 2018
Bus Nashir
NASHIRUL ISLAM

We demand justice for Nazim. We want murderers behind wheels to be made to answer for their crimes

How many more innocent lives must be taken from us in road fatalities before the authorities wake up and say enough is enough?

There is nothing more tragic -- and enraging -- than a young life lost at the hands of negligent and irresponsible drivers.

And so it was with the Dhaka Tribune’s very own Md Nazim Uddin, a senior executive in the advertisement department, who was killed on Thursday when a bus hit his motorcycle and ran him over on the Mayor Mohammad Hanif Flyover in Jatrabari.

Nazim -- beloved son, husband, brother, and father -- gone forever because of a bus driver’s recklessness.

This newspaper has editorialized countless times about the countless such lives which are lost to the perils of reckless driving, which ceaselessly persist as a common feature in Bangladesh’s roads, both in our cities and on our highways.

And time and time again, the main culprits are the bus drivers.

These buses continue to run amok with unlicensed and unverified bus drivers behind the wheel.

The situation is worsened by the almost total impunity offered to bus drivers and their owners, who continue to escape justice and hence never change their ways.

Just last month, we witnessed the horrific death of Rajib, a 22-year-old student whose right arm was torn off due to careless driving, causing two buses to collide. While the two bus drivers were arrested and refused bail, such examples of punishment are too rare to have an impact on the behaviour of bus companies and bus drivers.

In fact, our entire transportation eco-system, especially on the roads, reeks of negligence, with reckless driving continuing to exist almost as a cultural staple.

The numbers are horrifying: Last year alone, 4,284 people, 539 of whom were children, were killed in road accidents.

The persistently destructive and dangerous nature of our roads remains a blight on the nation’s conscience.

We need stricter implementation of traffic laws, harsher and swifter punishment for those who break the rules, and the outright dismissal of politics and corruption which allow negligent bus companies to continue operating.

We demand justice for Nazim. We want murderers behind wheels to be made to answer for their crimes.