Reckless driving, fake licence major causes

Shahin Akhter

Reckless driving and the use of fake driving licence are major causes of traffic accidents on the highways, said experts.
They also blamed the reluctance of the authorities to take action against the violations for the recurrence of accidents on the highways.
The system of daily payment of wages prompts reckless driving, they said.
About 70 to 80 per cent of the accidents take place on the country’s highways due to reckless driving, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’s Accident Research Institute director Tanweer Hasan told New Age.
‘Most of our drivers are untrained and take no interest to learn the skill,’ he said.
In a report submitted to the higher authorities on November 27, the highway police range identified several causes of the accidents.
Among the leading causes of the accidents, it listed reckless driving, unskilled drivers, use of fake driving licences, reckless overtaking and changing lanes without following traffic  rules.
The report also blamed ignoring traffic signals and road signs, taking intoxicants, talking over mobile
phone while driving and driving for long hours without  rests for the accidents.
BRAC road safety programme director Ahmed Najmul Hussain told New Age that the widespread practice of learning professional driving informally from  seniors also cause many accidents.
He said that the practice was continuing due to absence of monitoring and shortage of proper training facilities.
He said that the practice of payment of wages on the basis of trips also prompt reckless driving.
Introduction of the system of monthly payment of wages would keep the drivers in a relaxed mood and discourage reckless driving, he said.
The country’s 9.37 lakh vehicles need at least 14.06 lakh professional drivers, keeping the international standard in mind, which calls for engaging 1.5 drivers for each vehicle, said Najmul Hussain. The calculation is based on the requirement of rest each driver needs after specified hours of driving.
But Bangladesh Road Transport Authority records show that 7.89 lakh professional driving licences were issued  across the country until May 4.
It illustrates the role of fake driving licences, he said.
He called for simplifying the driving license test.
He said that the test could be completed in one day so that the applicants could be spared the hassles and the expenses of going to BRTA offices for getting their driving licences.
This would, he said, drastically cut down the scope of using fake driving licence.
BUET civil engineering department professor Shamsul Haque said that driving without proper licence increases the risk of accidents.
He also blame absence of accountability of the concerned authorities in neglecting their responsibilities to check the issues.
BRTA chairman Mohammad Nazrul Islam discounted the possibility of the use of fake professional licences for driving buses or trucks saying there could be few such instances.
He said that fake licences could be more prevalent among the motorcyclists.
But deputy inspector general of  highway police range Mohammad Asaduzzaman Mia told New Age that about 80 per cent drivers on the highways used illegal  driving licences.
‘We have to motivate the drivers to obtain their licences legally,’ he said.
He called for simplifying the written and viva tests for issuing the professional driving licence.

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