The Road Transport Act 2018 came into effect in November 2019, on paper at least. But we are disappointed over the law’s little impact on the ground. Reportedly, cases are being field for traffic law violation under the new law, but traffic anarchy on roads remains as before. Reckless driving is not the only way in which bus drivers are violating the laws. There is no ebb in their deadly tendency to engage in race, which not only create traffic congestion but also endangers lives.
Loading and unloading passengers at unauthorised spots is another common violation of traffic law. Conductors and helpers encourage passengers to alight before reaching the designated stop in order to present an empty-looking vehicle and load from the designated stop as many passengers as possible. However, it is futile to blame these low-paid bus employees because they do what they do under instructions of transport owners.A complete overhaul of the transport system, where buses would not compete and stop arbitrarily here or there, and would ply orderly and timely has long been overdue. In absence of effective governmental measures, the so-called transport owners and workers’ leaders rule the roost. Transport leaders can manipulate transport workers for a pittance because they are mostly illiterate and have scant regards for rule of law, let alone human life.
Therefore, we think the authorities concerned should take initiatives to create awareness among transport workers about the traffic laws and regulations. Overall, we think the poor transport employees should be freed from the clutches of the transport owners for which we need to recast the existing system of transport business.
Transport owners force their employees to take as many trips possible in a day to maximize their profits. We must bring an end to this practice and rather should take initiative to bring transport workers in a systematic payroll. If properly regularised, transport workers can have a decent job and decent life. But the existing system while exploiting transport workers is also responsible for making roads unsafe.