• Monday, Oct 21, 2019
  • Last Update : 04:01 pm

Back to square one?

  • Published at 12:03 am March 21st, 2019

All our plans, policies, and promises mean nothing if they are not put into practice

It was July 29, 2018, when two college students died under the wheels of a Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan bus on the capital’s Airport Road, sparking the first road safety movement that captured the attention of the entire nation.

Has any positive change happened in terms of road safety since then?

The recent death of a Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) student, who was run over by a bus near Jamuna Future Park, has brought about a fresh round of protests from students of BUP and other institutions, and the protesters have issued an eight-point charter of demands.

All of this brings about the question: How is this any different from the first round of protests?

It would seem that the authorities are listening to the students, and newly-elected mayor Atiqul Islam is engaging closely with the student protesters -- working towards a constructive solution.

We can hope that our roads will be safer, that the drivers who continue to operate on our streets with reckless abandon will be taken care of, that the owners of these bus companies will not be able to get away with their disregard for human life, and will face repercussions under the law.

We can mourn the death of Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury, and the countless others who have, and continue to lose their lives, on our roads. We can stand in solidarity with the students -- and with every person who has been affected by these accidents -- in demanding safer roads. We can offer all our thoughts and prayers, and hope for a better future.

But we have done all of the above, and more, previously. All our plans, policies, and promises mean nothing if they are not put into practice, and we will continue to see the same senseless, tragic loss of life on our roads day after day.