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Learning to drive properly

  • Published at 11:54 pm January 16th, 2019

The benefits of training drivers properly far outweigh the costs

Accidents in Bangladesh are attributed mainly to the overloaded buses being driven by unskilled drivers. Lives are lost in accidents, as illegal drivers without licenses continue to drive unfit vehicles recklessly on the roads and highways of the country.

Road accident numbers could significantly reduce if we could arrange for properly-trained drivers. The Awami League government has often claimed to be the party of grass-roots level people. Therefore, the government has a special responsibility to improve the economic conditions of its poor population.

It can take different measures to raise their level of income, and one such measure can be the setting up of driving schools in every district, city, or town in the country, and then running those schools properly. Bangladesh has 64 district towns and cities -- 64 driving schools could therefore be set up.

Such schools can turn out a few thousand trained drivers from just about every region in the country every year. Properly trained, skilled drivers will ensure safer transport movement and help reduce the number of fatal accidents taking place on the country’s roads and highways every day. 

A significant number of such skilled and trained drivers might also get the opportunity of going abroad with jobs, and earn more for our economy in the form of remittance. They will also then be able to raise their respective families’ standard of living.

A huge amount of money is not required to set up and operate these driving schools. A driving school can start its operations with two mini-buses, two trucks, and two double-cabin pick-up vans initially. The trainees will eventually become part of our skilled or semi-skilled workforce and such a workforce will be an asset to the country, rather than the liability that they seem to be now. 

A consortium involving traffic police, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, Technical Education Board, and the Bureau of Manpower can be useful in setting up and operating, at least, one driving school in each district town and city in Bangladesh. The curriculum of such a school should include:  Consequences of accidents on the person, family of the victims, and the burden on society; learning traffic rules and regulations; acquiring preliminary knowledge on automobile maintenance; speaking in English. All this is, of course, along with learning the proper way to drive a vehicle.

The amount of money that will be required to establish 64 driving schools equipped with proper infrastructural facilities and vehicles within five years is very small considering the scale of the loss of property and lives caused by fatal accidents in Bangladesh. 

Besides, the amount of investment by the government for establishing and operating such driving schools will be fully recovered within a few years by the positive impact that it will eventually have on the economy, not to mention the remittances that would be sent home by trained drivers who will get employment abroad. 

Md Ashraf Hossain is a freelance contributor.