Damning reports along with horrendous pictures about the state of our transport sector were published in all our major national dailies yesterday. According to these reports, among the 38 lakh licensed vehicles in the country, five lakh are not fit to run on the roads and the number of unlicensed drivers is more than 10 lakh. The Daily Star has reported that fitness certificates of 70,000 vehicles have not been renewed in the last 10 years. According to transport experts and road safety campaigners, unfit vehicles are a key reason behind most road accidents, and to ensure road safety, all the three aspects of transport sector—roads, transports, and drivers—have to be brought under strict scrutiny.
After every incident of road crash that sparks protests among the public, the BRTA, police, and other transport authorities become hyper-active in giving statements and making pledges. But unfortunately, they seem to forget all their pledges very quickly. That is why, the procession of deaths on the roads never stops. After Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury was killed, numerous accidents took place in the capital and all across the country. Just last Friday, 16 people were killed in road crashes. On the same day, an MP's car was hit by a speeding bus in the capital. The bus was running without a fitness certificate and the driver didn't have a valid driving license. The bus that killed Abrar also didn't have a fitness certificate.
Is the state for law-abiding general people or for those who are powerful and therefore can violate the rules? Has anybody been taken to task for committing crimes as gruesome as killing people on the roads? Will it be ensured that the vehicles that run without fitness certificates be taken off the roads? We want to see tangible steps taken by the authorities to punish those responsible for these deaths and to bring some order on our roads.