Deadly mistake: How old buses paved the way for tragedy


Yesterday’s horrific accident in Faridpur, claiming 14 lives, is a stark reminder of the deadly consequences of prioritizing convenience over safety.

The bus involved, the Uttara Unique Paribahan, was well past its prime, manufactured in 2002.

It would have been off the roads if the government hadn’t bowed to pressure from transport associations and extended the operational life of buses.

This decision, fueled by concerns of a vehicle shortage, ignores a critical aspect: road safety. Statistics speak for themselves. With over 35,000 buses exceeding their designated lifespan operating across Bangladesh, crashes are on the rise.

Experts warn that older vehicles, often poorly maintained due to rising costs, are more prone to breakdowns and malfunctions, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.

Professor Hadiuzzaman, a renowned expert in accident research, rightly calls the government’s backtrack a “suicidal move.”

This policy not only fails to address the problem of vehicle scarcity, but it also lacks a roadmap for phasing out old vehicles and ensuring proper maintenance for existing ones.


While Professor Shamsul Hoque emphasizes the importance of factors like driver training and road conditions, his point about lax enforcement cannot be ignored.

How can a bus without a valid route permit or fitness certificate operate for so long? These blatant violations highlight the ineffectiveness of current monitoring systems.

The onus lies on the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) to improve enforcement and hold all stakeholders accountable.

The blame game doesn’t bring back the lives lost.

We need a multi-pronged approach. The BRTA must enforce stricter regulations, taking old and unfit vehicles off the roads.

The government should develop a plan to replace them with newer, safer models. Furthermore, robust enforcement mechanisms are crucial to ensure adherence to road safety regulations.

The Faridpur tragedy is a wake-up call. We cannot afford to prioritize short-term convenience over long-term safety. Let us learn from this and work towards a future where our roads are no longer death traps.