Published:  12:21 AM, 09 February 2019

Keep ramshackle vehicles off the road

On Thursday, a report of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) submitted to the High Court revealed a horrendous picture of the fitness of buses plying across the country. The report said a whopping 33 percent of buses have no fitness certificates while 56 percent plying throughout the country lack speed control certificates.

This does not offer any surprise at all, as there has been no strict action since long against these falling-to-pieces transports and their owners and patrons as well. Transport fitness and other necessaries for a vehicle are discussed only when people lose their lives in road accident. In other times, the issue loses its appeal to the higher authorities concerned.

One thing is very clear in almost all surveys, similar to this one of BRTA, that most of the road accidents take place with the involvement of vehicles having no fitness certificate. And in these accidents, at least three thousand fatalities and an equal number of minor and severe injuries occur on roads and highways every year. After making a hue and cry for a certain period of time, all forget everything and the world goes its way, as usual.

In Bangladesh, most of the bus drivers seriously lack skills and expertise. For example, we can say about the drivers operating their buses in Dhaka. Most often, they have passengers get on and off putting an abrupt break on their vehicles on the middle of the road, deliberately creating a traffic gridlock behind. They put themselves in a race of dangerous overtaking from the left of another vehicle, which is totally illegal.

It matters very little to the drivers whether it breaches traffic law or risks one's life. And their buses, too, have innumerable scratches and dents, on their bodies, developed during wild competitions with other buses. This is going on in the broad daylight, and it often seems as if there were none to look into it.

To prevent all these malpractices, the government and all other stakeholders have to work with sincerity and honesty. All sorts of transport having no fitness must be kept away from streets while, at the same time, vehicular standards and fitness requirements should be frequently audited by a specialized government cell with intensified traffic regulations and safety conscious behaviors. If these ramshackle vehicles can be prevented from running on roads, road accidents can be minimized to a larger percentage.

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