There is manslaughter and there is murder. The circumstances of deaths in the last few days caused by dangerous and reckless driving would certainly fall under the latter category. The roads have become even more dangerous as the statistics of road crashes and casualties therefrom will show.
The latest incident is the killing of a child in Kushtia, crushed under the wheels of a bus which was static while the mother with the child in her arms started crossing the road, but moved suddenly without any warning, throwing the child out of the mother's arms, crushing her and speeding away. The driver has not been arrested till going to press.
These are painfully repetitive stories, but our repeated calls entreaty through our columns, as well those of the common person on this issue has not moved the authorities to initiate quick and effective actions to stem the killings on the roads.
Plans are announced, lofty assurances are dispensed, and homilies bestowed on the public whenever there is a surge in public outcry, but those eventually come to nothing. Little has been done to prevent unqualified people from obtaining driving licences. On the contrary we find that instead of making the process stiff the authorities are relaxing rules for obtaining licence for heavy duty vehicles.
Slow moving and three wheelers continue to impede movement of vehicles on highways despite government announcement to stop them plying the roads. Surprisingly, lawmakers, instead of helping the authorities, are urging the authorities to rescind the order. Most disappointing is the proposed Road Safety Act-2018 which will do nothing to curb reckless driving.
The epidemic has to be stopped. Regrettably, political influence is standing in the way.