Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Hitting the brakes on road accidents

Death and destruction from road accidents has become all but a way of life

Update : 24 Apr 2024, 09:34 AM

There are few national issues which frustrate as much as our incredibly unhealthy relationship with road accidents. Where each accident should offer a moment of reflection on the human toll that they have on the roads, the overwhelming sentiment is now a sense of exasperation on the sheer inaction on the part of the government to improve matters.

After the historic student-led movement in 2018 which proved the sheer lack of discipline on our roads is one of the biggest impediments towards road safety for us, the government passed the Road Transport Act 2018 in a bid to curb the number of road accidents. However, the law has had next to no impact with road accidents and the ensuing fatalities seemingly climbing every year.

Death and destruction from road accidents has become all but a way of life for Bangladeshis by this point.

The recent story of a Fatema Afrin Chhoya, a fifth-grader who blindfolded herself and stood for hours in the morning in the midst of unforgiving heat at two of the busiest intersections in Naogaon holding a placard pleading for safer roads, once again reminds us of just how young most victims of road accidents are in our country.

One of the biggest reasons behind the abject state of our road safety is unscrupulous transport owners who all but foment a sense of recklessness among their employees to be as reckless on the roads as possible, with bus companies faring the worst in this regard. The government needs to stop kowtowing to the whims and demands of transport companies and start implementing the laws which were made to hold these people accountable.

There is no future for our nation if those entrusted to build that future are allowed to die on the streets due to the callousness of a few.

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