A photo series published in this paper on January 18 shows pedestrians jaywalking through the busy Dhaka-Chattogram highway near Jatrabari where, only last Thursday, two people were killed in a road crash. Even though a footbridge is only about a hundred metres away, the pedestrians were seen navigating through a narrow gap in the median, putting not only their own lives at risk, but also that of their children who were accompanying them. We are simply at a loss to understand such reckless behaviour on the part of our citizens.
We strongly believe that our policymakers and law enforcement agencies should be held accountable for the loss of lives on our roads and highways, and consistently urged them to take necessary measures to ensure safer roads through our reports, op-eds and editorials. However, some responsibility must fall on the pedestrians and ordinary citizens, too, who are keen on breaking the law when no one’s looking—be it jaywalking, flouting traffic rules or driving recklessly—which only goes to aggravate an already failing flailing system. It is truly unfortunate that in the 47 years of independence, we have not been able to develop a strong sense of civic duty; we are eager to point fingers at others but rarely do so at ourselves, for our own mistakes and failures.
It is our belief that if every individual takes cognizance of their individual safety as well as that of others, it would go a long way towards establishing some semblance of sanity in our otherwise chaotic metropolis.