Kabir Hossain, 32, has been driving buses in Dhaka for the last 15 years. He learnt driving from his “ustad” [senior driver] after starting out as a helper two decades ago.
“This is the first time I’m attending any formal training session,” Kabir told this correspondent at the headquarters of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) yesterday.
Like Kabir, 200 bus drivers of Dhaka are taking part in a special training programme organised by BRTA at its headquarters in the capital’s Banani.
BRTA organised the 10-day programme, dividing the drivers into two batches, with an aim to improve their skills and raise awareness to prevent road accidents.
Special trainings will be arranged for other city and inter-city drivers gradually.
BRTA, the state’s regulatory body for managing the transport sector and ensuring road safety, took the initiative at a time when unskilled drivers are blamed for frequent road accidents.
Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association and Dhaka Road Transport Owners-Workers Unity Council assisted the programme.
Inaugurating the training programme, Nazrul Islam, secretary to road transport and highway division, said there is no alternative to training and this programme will improve their [the drivers’] skills and make them more aware of their responsibilities.
“Learning how to drive is not everything,” he said. There are many other things to learn, and hopefully this programme will ultimately help in preventing road accidents, he said.
Khondaker Enayet Ullah, general secretary of Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association, urged the authorities to continue such training programmes.
BRTA Director (training) Sirajul Islam and transport workers’ leader Sadikur Rahman Hiru also spoke at the event with BRTA Chairman Moshiar Rahman presiding over it.
The training session started with the speech of transport expert and Buet Professor Shamsul Haque.