Thursday, January 23, 2020 | ePaper

Don't bow down to demons

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THE transport owners backtracked from their earlier decision to arrange dope tests on the bus drivers to detect the presence of drug in their bodies fearing a turbulent situation. A few days back, Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association leaders at a special joint meeting of transport owners and workers announced the dope test mandatory for bus drivers in Dhaka city. The drug-influenced (from marijuana to Yaba or alcohol) drivers usually ply bus and trucks carelessly which is mainly responsible for most of the road accidents. However, the retreating attitude of owners has exposed that a good intention to curb road accident is compromised.
The transport leaders had also declared that anyone found positive in the dope test would be sent to jail immediately and their driving licences would also be cancelled. Currently, only the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority conducts a medical test for professional drivers, which does not include any dope test. The submission before the organised demons comes when a court yesterday sentenced two bus drivers and a helper to life term imprisonment following a road accident that killed two college students in Dhaka last year. The killing of two students of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment College triggered nation-wide student protest that virtually collapsed the road networks for three consecutive days. Apparently, the students had taken control of the roads.  
Against this backdrop, the government formed the Road Safety Act 2018 but failed to implement it due to protest of transport workers. What's true is that, they are too powerful to disobey government orders, bend laws and paralyze the country enforcing work abstention. The organised power of the transport workers has allegedly been nurturing by some Ministers and ruling party men. The dual game of the government ultimately put the citizens in deep trouble. We reiterate our call to make the road communication safe and disciplined for everyone with implementation of the new law. There is no way to go back to jungle rule.


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