Is it really that hard to make our roads safe? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 12, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 12, 2019

Editorial

Is it really that hard to make our roads safe?

142 lives lost in 11 days!

Words are not enough to describe our frustrations at the anarchy that is going on in our transport sector which leads to dangerous road accidents, claiming lives on a regular basis. And the number of deaths increases alarmingly during the Eid holidays every year. According to a non-government organisation, in the last 11 days during Eid rush, at least 142 people were killed and 324 injured in road accidents across the country. Although the government took some extra precautions to make the Eid journey smooth and safe for the home-goers, sadly, all these steps could not reduce the number of road crashes.

The situation can only change for the better if the Road Transport Act-2018 is brought into effect. Apparently, the law could not be enforced due to protests and pressure created by the transport workers and owners who were against some of the provisions in the law. While road safety campaigners have long been urging the government to increase the punishment to at least 10 years for causing death of a person by rash driving, the transport workers are demanding that the current provision that stipulates Tk 5 lakh fine for causing such accidents be revoked. The transport workers’ other demands include making all accident-related cases bailable, and reducing the mandatory educational qualification from eighth grade to fifth grade for getting a driving licence.

If such illogical demands of the transport workers are met, it will surely create more chaos on the roads and the number of road accidents will also increase. Therefore, before making any “adjustments” to the Act, we hope the government holds serious discussions with all the stakeholders including the road safety campaigners. Too many lives are being lost on our roads every day, and it’s time the government put all-out efforts to bring some order to the roads.

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