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Hold drivers accountable

  • Published at 11:56 pm January 25th, 2019
ACCIDENT
MEHEDI HASAN

Because of the actions of one driver, 13 lives are now gone before their time

Reports of road deaths are an everyday reality in Bangladesh.

Even so, some accidents take on a dimension so senseless and so tragic, they truly expose the scale of the problem in Bangladesh when it comes to unfit drivers behind the wheel.

A coal-carrying truck flipped over in Comilla and crashed into a workers’ dormitory, crushing 13 workers to death while they slept. Seven of the workers were from the same family.

This begs the question: Why was the truck parked in a way that it could roll over and hurt people? The driver responsible was either irresponsible, incompetent, or both, and because of the actions of one driver, and the company that employed this unfit driver, 13 lives are now gone before their time.

A paltry financial compensation to the families of the deceased does very little to solve the problem, or preventing such absurd and tragic accidents from happening again -- what is really needed is to hold such drivers and their employers accountable. 

The Bangladesh Passengers Welfare Association reveals that at least 7,221 people died from road accidents in 2018 alone. Add to that the 15,466 people who were injured.

Clearly, in spite of widespread movements to bring the issue to attention, road death statistics have only climbed, and while the government has made promises about increasing road safety, little has been seen in terms of actual progress.

Will these numbers serve as a wake-up for the authorities, who have so far remained happy to pass the buck and dodge blame? Murderers behind the wheel are murderers nevertheless, and they do not belong on our streets.