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23 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Training young drivers

Training young 
drivers

We cannot allow underage drivers on the streets, even though a large number of such people are compelled to find work for a livelihood.  It’s widely known that most drivers of the small but swift human haulers are teenagers, with almost no training. Accidents usually happen when these untrained teens drive recklessly. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that all young drivers have reached their mandatory age and have valid driving licenses with necessary training. All child labour is inhuman, but since greater risk is involved in the work of a driver or helper, child labour is doubly reprehensible here.   

 According to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), there are more than five thousand registered human haulers in the city. Accommodating 14 people, this mode of transport is affordable for low income people, providing fast communication, using the city’s alleys and by-lanes.

While most of the vehicles have been found to be in rickety condition with the seats, foot-stands along with the interior in abominable state, they are essential for working class people. To make this mode of communication safer, the first priority is providing special training to the drivers. If BRTA starts a special course aiming to give proper skill development to young drivers, the number of accidents involving human haulers will fall. In case of funds crunch, the government can easily rope in a development agency.

Too many international development bodies are involved in ‘poverty eradication’ – sometimes a vague term where concrete results are often elusive or transient. Some of these programmes, costing millions of Dollars, should be diverted to the transport sector, for enhancing road safety and training young drivers. Poverty alleviation will be the end result anyway.

Reportedly, many of the helpers of these transports are literally children, aged between 8 and 12; and employing children of this age in such risky work has to be stopped forthwith. True, human haulers are an integral part of city transport; but the assertion that underage people faced with the demand of making a living come as drivers and helpers is not always true. Poverty is certainly behind every form of child labour, but working in a restaurant is quite different from working as a helper in a human hauler by a teenager.   

To look at an often neglected aberration, many of the drivers are never given enough time off, working from dawn till midnight. Consequently, due to lack of adequate rest, they make grave errors on the road. This trend of making a worker toil excessively applies to all our sectors – an indication that, inherently, we have very little concept about labour rights.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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