Been thinking about writing down my thoughts on the hullaballoo that is going on over increasing road safety. Before I could do so, Mr./Dr. Mohammad Ali Akbar Mallik, who is an engineer, already put his in Prothom Alo which I readily agree with.

BRTA's corruption is of course the first area to discuss. I have been to their Ikuria campus and the mirpur campus, and its easy for any simple man to get lost there. Its not that the place is big, but its crowded, with "Dalals" - the unofficial middlemen. The counters are either not labeled, or they are empty. The only way to determine what a counter is meant for unless there is a line in front of it, since then someone might entertain a question or two from you. It is indeed not a friendly place, and no civility is there. In terms of the writer's urge to modernize BRTA in the form of making a bigger campus, I hardly think that should be necessary. Considering how Dhaka has spread over and is jammed all the time, I think their operations should be more decentralized. The written tests, verbal tests etc, all tests short of the driving test, doesn't require a large area, and those could be arranged according to where people reside.

The idea of showing a video explaining road etiquette, how road accidents occur, and what the effects are of road accidents to the victims is a very good idea. That is just in line with how I was thinking about it. I drive everyday along the airport road, along Biswa road, and I see that most drivers are in fact, professional drivers. Regardless of whether there is a boss in the backseat, they are driving like absolute lunatics. I have usually seen car owners drive their cars cautiously, my father, my uncles, my wife, myself, or my friends, except maybe my younger brother and other youngsters who are mostly thrill seekers, and not really driving for practical reasons*.  Our professional drivers, they either have very little regard for the vehicles they drive, or just no regard for people. They wil cut into your lane very abruptly creating a risky situation, or come dangerously close to your car, to make you feel threatened and stop. Most of the time, a owner in the backseat, doesn't even care, as long as they can get to their destination fast. Others, like my father and eldest uncle, can go through 3/4 drivers in 3/4 months. My father currently doesn't have a driver. Meanwhile, the bigger the vehicle that a professional driver is manning, the bigger the risks he brings to everyone else. Buses have a habit of stopping in the middle of the road to take on customers. While the police can be seen stopping my car or other private vehicles often, they are very kind to these buses. Buses can be seen competing with other buses, to the point they drag along each others bodies. I have seen such a display on many occassions in the presence of the police. There is no reason to allow those drivers to sit behind a steering while for the rest of his life! These are clearly perverted individuals.

Whereas the author mentioned a video, I was thinking licenses would be conditional to a more elaborate training BRTA would conduct, including road safety issues, and visits to a hospital treating those who had lost a limb or suffered in any other way from an accident. Also, owners of vehicles should feel more responsible about how their hired drivers are conducting themselves. You can be the safest driver in town, but due to the professionals all around you, you are in now way out of danger. Talk to your drivers, and let them know what is right and what is wrong. Be human, for everyone's sake.

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* So, there is a good reason to restrict licenses to younger people. As far as I've heard, in USA licenses are given in stages. A 15 year old can only drive when in presence of a father or mother who can also drive, and then they graduate to being able to drive any family member, but not friends, and then slowly graduate to being able to just drive.