Drivers and conductors are human beings also
Recently we observed the subsequent situation of the most uttered two accidents in the Dhaka city. One accident by which Rajib Hossain lost one of his arms and another accident occurred in front of Kurmitola General Hospital on the Airport Road where two students of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College namely Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib were killed and several injured as a bus ploughed through some students of the same. Another most uttered incident was occurred by driver, helper and supervisor of Hanif Paribahan. This is known as "Payel murdered by bus staff". Coincidentally, victims of said three cases were students of different educational institute and the cases were occurred within the closed time of period. After the accidental death of Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, Students protested strongly and blockaded the road demanding safety, justice and other issues related to accidents.
In response of students agitations on road safety, justice and others related issues, the Government were very much concerned and assured to protestors to fill up their demand. A bad culture in our country is that nobody is able to draw the attention of the Government other than agitation and vandalism. When a group of people or victims demand something through agitation and vandalism, the Government become concern and tries to provide a solution considering political favourability. It cannot be the strategy of Government. The Government should make solutions of all the irregularities of the country for the welfare of the citizens observing the situation before occurring any fatal incident.
Also, we observed the tendency of Government that they always try to make short-run solutions and they would not like to find the roots and causes of incidents. All we know that mentioned two accidents among three were occurred for overtaking or for making ill-competition to take more passengers defeated another. Why do bus drivers make ill-competition with another in the road? The Government should find the causes first and then make an effective solution of it. It may be the temporary solutions otherwise. To make any permanent solution, the Government should research on the incidents taking help from the expert in the relevant field finding causes and then they should make effective policy to solve the problems.
Seemingly, we think that bus drivers make ill-competitions with another to take excessive passengers on his bus to earn more. If we are going to find the causes that why do bus drivers always try to earn more taking the high risk? All we know that drivers and conductors take a bus from the bus owners by paying the largest amount of money or they take the bus agreeing to fill up the higher earnings target.
Our Government may not believe, drivers and conductors have to pay a huge amount as extort to the police and transport unions for various causes to run the bus on the designated route. After paying the demanded amount to the owners and extort to police as well as unions, most of the cases they are not able to keep any balance (equal or negative) at end of the day to meet their essential family expenses, if they do fare practice in the road as per laws. Owners take a large amount of earnings from the drivers and conductors for his invest, profit as well as day to day maintenance expenses including various type of extort.
Owners could take less but he cannot afford by less because he has to pay extort and to maintain various linkages to running his bus in the designated route. To meet maintenance including extorts, recover the capital with expected profit, bus owners bind to provide a higher target of earning to drivers and conductors or binds to take a higher fixed amount from the same.
Apart from these, after taking a bus from the owners, bus drivers and conductors make a target of the number of trips in a day. Due to heavy traffic in the Dhaka city, they cannot make targeted trips. As a result, they want to recover their targeted earnings by less number of trips than target by making ill-competitions. This is also a major cause to make ill-competition and overtaking to take more passengers.
When an accident occurs, we accuse the respective driver, helper and supervisor. Yes, the driver must be accused, but why do the drivers make accident? Our Government would not like to discover the causes due to political involvement in the irregularities. They are used to provide readymade solutions to solve without any research by experts in respective fields. That's why the number of fatal accidents is being increased day by day. Uttered and criticism are continued in the all kinds of media on the competency of respective driver and controlling authority, if a fatal accident occurs. After a few days, the accident went unnoticed. If an incident went unnoticed by another in any case, nobody tries to revive that to find causes of the incident to solve permanently.
Causes are remained hidden for the foreseeable future and those causes help to occur a subsequent incident. We should not forget that drivers and conductors are the human beings and also they have family members and dependents like others. So, there are no causes to occur any accidents intentionally. But accidents occur frequently and drivers can not reduce the number of accidents or stop. To make proper as well as long-run solutions to reduce/ stop the accidents, Government should take effective preventive measures researching the causes/roots of accidents/ incidents. It will not reduce or stop otherwise.
The writer is member of Dhaka Taxes Bar Association and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org