Dhaka’s risky streets with kids driving buses, human hauliers

In any country, one has to be an adult to qualify as a driver. But in Bangladesh, one does not have to obey that law to become a driver – and that literally means it is “allowed”.

Monir is 16. He has been driving a human haulier for six months. Underage, he naturally does not have a license. But who cares? You can spot him in the Mohammadpur and Mirpur route. Monir says many of his buddies are also in this same profession.

The Daily Star have also spotted even younger drivers driving minibuses — even on the VIP road right under the nose of the law enforcers.

In most cases, underage drivers are seen driving human hauliers. Drivers say this is because qualified drivers with genuine licenses are not interested to drive these smaller vehicles for prestige issues.

Also, vehicle owners can exploit young and eager-to-please drivers better when it comes to payment.

The most common defence of people who deploy these kids for such risky jobs is that they were very poor and these jobs were providing them with a livelihood.