• Friday, Feb 26, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:32 pm

ED: Getting unfit vehicles off the road

  • Published at 01:52 am January 28th, 2021
bus
Photo: MEHEDI HASAN

Close to half a million vehicles without fitness certificates are on our roads

The roads and highways of Bangladesh have long been terribly unsafe, and our road fatality statistics testify to this fact. 

Despite countrywide protests back in 2018 to impose discipline on our roads, in reality, very little has changed. A large part of the problem is the fact that many of the vehicles which ply our roads are lacking in fitness certificates. 

Close to half a million vehicles without fitness certificates are on our roads as of December 2020, and it should surprise no one should many more tragic accidents take place in 2021 as a result of these vehicles being allowed on the road. 

The government assures us that SMS messages are being sent out to make people comply, and punitive action is being taken against violators, but the sobering fact is, year after year, we see little to no improvement in the matter, with the problem only increasing rather than going the other way around. 

This begs the question: What is the hold-up? In other words, why is road safety in Bangladesh, after countless tragic deaths, still not a priority?

Bus companies are the worst violators, and a look into news reports of accidents shows that consistently, buses are most frequently responsible for accidents. It should be easy enough to enforce fitness rules on bus companies: Comply or pack up. 

It is not plausible that large, well-known transportation companies cannot be made to obey the law. There are many logistically complicated challenges that Bangladesh is dealing with right now, but among them, enforcing the road rules that already exist ought to be fairly straightforward.

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