Last Tuesday a BWTC official Krishna Roy Chowdhury was badly injured by a speeding bus as she was walking on a pavement in Bangla Motor. The driver of the bus was recklessly speeding and ran over Chowdhury resulting in injuring her badly. After being treated at the hospital, Chowdhury’s left leg had to be amputated. The incident displays the arrogance and sense of infallibility these unscrupulous drivers of buses have acquired as a result of the indulgence they enjoy by the system. But as citizens of this country, do we not have the right to be protected from such reckless sociopaths who think nothing of speeding in a busy road and running over people on the pavement?
There is nothing anyone can do to change the fate of Chowdhury, who has been permanently maimed by this incident and is still going through unbelievable trauma, both physical and mental. Thus the paltry sum of Tk 2 lakh offered by the owners of the bus is humiliating and does not recognise the enormity of the crime.
Chowdhury and her family want justice and have filed a case with Hatirjheel Police Station against the bus owners, driver and his helper, all of whom are to be blamed for this tragedy. We, the ordinary citizens of this country, also want to see justice. It seems the passionate road safety movement that young school students started after two of their fellow students were ruthlessly killed by a speeding bus, has had no effect on bus owners or their employees. Nor has there been much success in the government’s efforts to enforce traffic rules. Buses continue to speed, dangerously overtake vehicles, race against each other, and are driven by apprentice drivers or helpers, taking precious lives on the road or disabling people for life. Despite campaigns and public outcry against such disregard for traffic rules, the system continues to be tilted in favour of the culprits who have no value for human life. We want an end to this callousness regarding road safety. The law must clamp down on bus drivers and bus owners guilty of road crashes that could have been avoided. The guilty parties no matter how powerful, must not be allowed to absolve themselves of responsibility.