Saturday, June 22, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Not fit to ride

Getting rid of unfit vehicles is the best way it can start

Update : 10 Aug 2023, 12:26 PM

One of the fundamental elements that continues to make our roads and highways such dangerous places is that unfit vehicles are still allowed to ply without repercussions.

According to the newest report collated by the Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity, 576 lives were lost while over a thousand were injured in 505 road crashes in the month of July. These are startling statistics to be sure, and are the direct result of the administration’s complete lack of action to hold transport companies accountable for their callousness when it comes to vehicle conditions.

In fact, instead of further tightening the grip around this sector, the government is kowtowing to pressures from transport associations by putting an order on hold that seeks to limit the operational “life” of buses and trucks.

Given the sheer amount of life and limb being lost on our roads and highways, one would imagine that such an order would be fast tracked and not put on hold. Yet, here we are.

Bus companies have been established as being the worst violators when it comes to the flouting of traffic laws, 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 leave.

In showing such obvious subservience to a sector that has never displayed any obligation to put the safety of the people over its own profits, the administration is sending the wrong message instead.

It has been half a decade since the historic movement in the form of the student protests demanding safer roads. Since then numerous laws have been passed with next to no signs of actual enforcement, while lives are still being impacted on our roads and highways.

If we wish our roads to be safer, the government needs to take initiative. Getting rid of unfit vehicles is the best way it can start.

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