There are many reasons behind the traffic jams which have slowed down the pace of Dhaka city and caused much economic losses. Among all the reasons, perhaps the most objectionable one is driving on the wrong side of the road. This is unimaginable in a civilised country, but in our country it has become a norm. Worse still, it is the top-level persons of the state and society who are the ones driving down the opposite side of the road. Yet they should be setting examples for the common people to follow the law.
Yesterday’s Prothom Alo published a report on powerful and influential people driving down the wrong side of the road, against the flow of traffic. On the previous day, the police took up a sudden drive in the ministers’ locality opposite Ramna Park. They stopped 57 vehicles going in the wrong direction in around two hours, and 40 of these were vehicles of senior officials of various ministries and government departments.
It is nothing new that state ministers, members of parliament, engineers, political leaders, police, journalists, judges and businessmen often drive on the wrong side of the road. The people of Dhaka see this every day. What is new was the police’s drive on Sunday. It is also rather mysterious. After all, the police never even stop senior government officials’ cars in the wrong direction, let alone penalise them. So what is the significance of this drive?
The report reveals that the Anti-Corruption Commission chairman was on the road at the time, as well as Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s additional commissioner of traffic and other senior police officers. The fact remains that while this may have created a stir and a sensation, it is doubtful whether the drive will yield lasting results.
The propensity of anyone, regardless of position or profession, to break the rules by virtue of their power and influence, must certainly be effectively curbed.