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Which does Dhaka need more of: better driver s or improved roads?
Poor road condition & less skilled drivers are common problems of Bangladesh. Day by day number of car is increasing as well as number of drivers are also increasing. On the other hand the road condition is getting worse continuously. Though the Government is trying it’s best to control the bad situations, in Dhaka road accident rate is not decreasing. So road safety & skilled drivers is a must.
First, in comparison to the population of Dhaka the number of vehicle is very large & continuously increasing (Bangladesh Road Transport). The number of driver is also increasing but it’s in question that if they are skilled drivers or not. There are cases that many under age boy is driving buses or cars who doesn’t have any driving license or proper driving knowledge. “According to Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh, about 80 per cent of human hauler drivers in the capital are aged between 13 and 18 years” (Akhter, 2018, para 10). It’s a great risk for both the passengers & people walking on the streets. People are violating the laws regularly. Some people even bribe the police & continuously drive illegally. BRTA chairman says that about 50 per cent of driving license in Bangladesh is fake & made through corruption (50pc driving licence, 2008). So it’s a clear indication of weak authority that is unable to maintain the system.
Sadly but true that the road condition in Dhaka is in very bad condition. There’s around 25 % roads under the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) across the country that are in “poor, bad or very bad” condition (Adhikary, 2019). A large number of vehicle use the roads including heavy weight vehicles. So, the road gets damage very frequently. But there is no proper maintenance of rules regarding weight limits in certain roads & areas. Overloaded trucks & containers cause heavy damage to the roads in some residential areas. Transportation experts claim that overloading of vehicles causes fatal road accidents (Akhter, 2019). Government provide money to construct top-grade roads but some road contractors construct low quality roads to make a profit from the contract. Regular maintenance of road is also missing. During rainy season roads in some areas become like a small pond & road accident rate increase.
Government is trying to make safe roads & ensure skilled drivers thought-out the country. But the problems relies within the people who supports illegal driving & involve in corruption while constructing roads. There were many campaigns regarding road safety. “Jiboner Age Jibika Noy, Sarak Durghatana Ar Noy” was the theme of 2019 road safety day (National Road Safety, 2019, Para 2). However, people don’t care as long as they lose their beloved ones. From a study of Accident Research Centre (ARC) of BUET it is found that around 12000 people die & around 3500 people gets injure from road accident yearly (Road Safety Awareness, 2019). The roads in Dhaka are always crowded & during rush hours it becomes impossible to reach in hospitals in case of emergency. In some areas the roads are very narrow that ambulance can’t get in. So it’s an alarming situation.
In the end, this is clear that both the road condition & driving skills is poor in Dhaka. People those are in government & constructing death trap for the people by constructing faulty roads. So, better roads are more important as better drivers can be ensured by proper implementation on laws. But without better roads what is the benefit of having better drivers.
50pc driving licence fake, admits BRTA. (2008, December 25). Retrieved from The Daily Star: https://www.thedailystar.net/news-detail-68648
Adhikary, T. S. (2019, July 1). 4,200km of roads in bad condition. Retrieved from The Daily Star: https://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/news/4200km-roads-bad-or-very-bad-1764895
Akhter, S. (2018, November 30). Underage transport workers a serious threat to road safety. Retrieved from Newage: http://www.newagebd.net/article/57485/underage-transport-workers-a-serious-threat-to-road-safety
Akhter, S. (2019, November 15). Transport act to overlook overloading, modification. Retrieved from Newage: http://www.newagebd.net/article/90674/transport-act-to-overlook-overloading-modification
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://brta.portal.gov.bd/sites/default/files/files/brta.portal.gov.bd/monthly_report/c6b00557_49aa_412d_b2e3_5b1409db3152/Dhaka%20Metro.pdf
National Road Safety Day on Tuesday. (2019, October 22). Retrieved from Dhakatribune: https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2019/10/22/national-road-safety-day-on-tuesday
Road Safety Awareness Campaign In Dhaka. (2019, April 25). Retrieved from Jaago: https://jaago.com.bd/road-safety-awareness-campaign-in-dhaka/