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Dying on the road

  • Published at 12:05 am November 10th, 2019
WEB_Jessore Accident
Photo: Dhaka Tribune

This issue is also front and centre on the minds of the general public

In spite of repeated assurances from the authorities concerned, the fact remains that the roads and highways of Bangladesh are still as unsafe as ever.

The news reports of road fatalities are everywhere: On Friday, 12 people were killed in road accidents across the country in separate incidents. Many more were injured.

A bus ran over a three-wheeler in Panchagarh, another bus plunged into a pond in Noakhali, a truck hit a motorcycle in Keraniganj, and a bus pushed a human hauler into a roadside ditch in Gaibandha, among other tragic events on the road.

The common thread seems to be the reckless behaviour on the road on part of large vehicles, namely buses and trucks. Commercial buses, in particular, have for a long time been the main culprit behind the indiscipline we see on our roads.

Recently, the Road Transport Act, 2018, went into effect, which shows that the government realizes the importance of improving road safety.

Last year’s road safety movement shows that this issue is also front and centre on the minds of the general public. After all, the fruits of development mean nothing if people have to gamble with their lives every time they go on the road, whether it is commuting within their own city, or going on the highway for a longer trip.

We need action, not just the appearance of action; and for as long as grim news stories about road deaths keep making headlines with such alarming regularity, the public will not feel reassured.