Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | ePaper

Road Transport Association move is well meaning but first minister must not be union leader

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Dhaka Road Transport Owners' Association's (DRTOA) decision on Thursday to cancel membership of five bus companies for violating its decision taken on the previous day to abolish daily contractual driving by bus drivers and their helpers is a welcome step to reduce the road accident.
The bus owners’ association has agreed that such driving against daily fixed amount is a common cause of road accidents as drivers engage in competitive driving to leave one behind the other to take passengers from the next stop to maximize their daily income. The five companies with over 400 buses no doubt represent a powerful lobby and the question is whether or not the decision to abolish contractual driving can continue longer as it will hurt the interest of most bus owners in the long run who have more greed for money than anything else.
The bus owners’ association said they have carried out checking yesterday at 12 points in the city including Mohakhali and Saidabad Terminals so that all buses have required papers including fitness certificates, registration, tax token and so on. The finding at Mohakhali showed out of 300 buses 40 had no valid papers but over 70 percent drivers have license to drive light to medium vehicles but not for running buses.
We must say owners were engaging such untrained and unskilled drivers and many with fake driving licenses as they are available at cheaper rates and it is now on them how to change the situation overnight or whether they will at all change such drivers responsible for most road accidents.
Most people believe that the owners association's action may be an eye wash to remove public misgivings about them in the backdrop of the students movement for road safety. If they are really serious to make the roads safe, they must first try to save the road transport machinery from government influenced corruption and unholy syndicates. The union leader must not be government minister.
 

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