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When will this stop?

  • Published at 11:00 pm February 5th, 2020
dhamrai road accident
Photo: Dhaka Tribune

Legislation alone cannot make us safe from dying on the roads

Another day, another death on the road.

Road fatalities are, tragically, an all-too-common occurrence in Bangladesh, and despite repeated assurances by governments both past and present towards curbing it, the phenomenon is still as prevalent today as it has ever been.

The most recent wave of road accidents saw at least six people lose their lives in three separate incidences, two of whom were fifth graders.

How can we expect our children to take our country forward when we can’t even save them from the clutches of bad drivers and even worse roads?

The movement for road safety two years ago was a watershed moment for Bangladesh -- a movement waged by students with the express intent of demanding safer roads for their fellow classmates all over the nation. And while the government eventually capitulated and enacted the Road Transport Act 2018, such policies are clearly not working as people are still dying on the roads.

Let us be clear here: Legislation alone cannot make us safe from dying on the roads; much like most of our problems, the answer lies in implementation.

The scourge of irresponsible drivers, bus company owners who do everything to push their drivers to the edge of destruction, and our broken roads and highway infrastructure -- all of these elements come together and conspire to kill us.

As long as grim reports of road fatalities keep making headlines around the nation, no one will feel safe. The only way out of this danger is for the government to take action, and not simply make promises.