Bangladesh has achieved tremendous success in different socio-economic indices, thanks to the pragmatic and time-befitting policies pursued by the government. The country also promises far greater accomplishments in other vital sectors.
A long list of gains in those fields can be made but, to say the truth, the country has not only failed to achieve success in an important arena, much to the dismay of the people.There are no signs so far that anything serious is being planned in this sector – the safety on the highways. The country’s road fatality rate is one of the highest in the world. A large number of lives have been wasted under the wheels of vehicles, especially buses and trucks.
No tangible steps have been taken, at least visible ones, to tackle this issue despite spending a lot of energy in holding seminars, researches and editorials like this one.
There are government agencies to oversee the road safety issue, but they have failed to deliver. It is a shame. These public bodies are designated to formulate policies and implement them to bring down road fatality rate. They are also expected to discharge their duties efficiently and sincerely. It appears they are sleeping on the issue and all we have got is the eye wash comments when disaster strikes.
It has been observed that the very authorities, who are half-hearted in their action, discharge their duties energetically whenever ordered from the highest level of administration. Undeniably, such dependence on every matter on the higher authorities is not a good sign. On several occasions, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered necessary actions to establish discipline on highways. Very recently she directed the authorities concerned to initiate measures to bring order on the roads and requested the drivers not to indulge in reckless driving and fatal race on the roads. Let us hope, officers and agencies concerned will not wait any further and get down to business before questions are put to them about their interest in not doing their job.