Spike in traffic-related deaths
The traffic crashes, particularly in the capital city, are assuming epidemic proportions. And much of that has to do with the wanton attitude of the drivers at the wheels. Regrettably, in a matter of three days only in this month, reckless driving has seriously injured three young people who are either fighting to survive or facing a life of disability. Highway deaths have also seen incremental spike in casualties.
Thus the remarks of the bus owners made recently at a meeting of their organisation, namely Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association, that unhealthy competition among the buses in the streets of Dhaka is the main reason for the large number of deaths on the roads. And the reason for this is because many vehicle owners have rented out their vehicles to the drivers, ill-motivated by the fact that heavy traffic has reduced the number of per day trips a vehicle can make. It is no wonder that not road safety but making more trips in a day becomes the main consideration. Thus a contraption driven by an ill-trained person, mostly with illegal license with no road sense at all, ignoring designated bus stops, becomes a killing device.
We have said before that bringing sanity in Dhaka's traffic involves all the stakeholders, most of all the law enforcing agencies, the controlling authorities and the owners. But ensuring quality drivers at the control depends much on the owners. We are glad they have themselves acknowledged reckless driving as the main contributor to the malady. And they are the ones who should take immediate measures to remove the underlying causes of mishaps on the roads.