Amid glaring examples of unruliness in Dhaka’s transport sector, a new study claims that 50 per cent of public transport workers are short-sighted.
The study, conducted on 1,200 public transport drivers and helpers in Dhaka last month, said some among them have vision problems to the extent of requiring surgery.
Brac’s Road Safety Programme and Junior Chamber International (JCI) – Dhaka West jointly ran the survey at Sayedabad Bus Terminal on April 23 and 24.
Among the respondents, 50 per cent are drivers, of mostly buses, and 49 per cent helpers. Rests were drivers and helpers. 29 per cent were aged between 31 to 40, and 27 per cent between 40 to 50 years old. 19 per cent were between 51 to 60.
Among those with short-sighted problems, it found, 76 per cent require spectacles or regular medicine, and 12.6 per cent requires eye surgery.
Kamran ul Baset, head of Brac’s Road Safety Programme, unveiled the findings at a programme at Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) headquarters.
Mahbub-E-Rabbani, director (road safety) of the BRTA, said at the programme that BRTA has a mechanism of eyesight checking before handing license. “Maybe, its implementation is faulty.”
Jahurul Islam, assistant professor at National Institute of Ophthalmology, said: “The drivers must be brought under a check-up system. We need a national guideline in this regard.”
Ahmed Najmul Hossain, director at Brac’s road safety programme, said: “Before this study, we knew nothing much about the eyesight of our drivers in Dhaka city.”
For two years now, road crashes in ruthless and reckless driving, leading to loss of lives, have sparked countrywide outrage and called for immediate attention to the issue.