Where is the concern for road safety? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 09, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:54 AM, April 09, 2018

Editorial

Where is the concern for road safety?

BRTA must fulfill its obligations

More than 55,000 vehicles, including 3,740 belonging to different ministries and government agencies, have not renewed their fitness certificates for more than a decade, according to official data. One can only assume that the actual number of such vehicles is much greater, even though some on the list may no longer be running according to BRTA. In reality, it seems the BRTA doesn't have any accurate figure in regards to how many faulty vehicles are plying the roads, and the excuses it has tried to sell for its failure still don't explain why no action has been taken against owners of faulty vehicles on their list.

While the BRTA processes the papers of owners who comply with the law, what does it do about those who are non-compliant and go about without renewal of fitness certificate with impunity for years? We barely ever see law enforcers and other authorities concerned take any action against faulty vehicles. In fact, on the list of vehicles belonging to government organisations, it is the police that reportedly own the highest number of unfit vehicles. Also on the list is a vehicle that belongs to the mayor of Dhaka City Corporation. Is it any wonder then, why the authorities hardly ever take any action against unfit vehicles? 

Meanwhile, deaths from road accidents continue unabated, in many cases, because of accidents caused by faulty vehicles. According to Bangladesh Passengers Welfare Association, the number of deaths from road accidents was 7,397 in 2017 and 6,055 in 2016.

The BRTA must immediately introduce measures to detect vehicles without proper BRTA certificates and take action against owners of unfit vehicles, regardless of who they are.

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