Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A tragedy that should never have occured

The Star Online - 17 August 2007

Posted by: drchris

Act fast to prevent further mishaps

The whole nation was shocked and aghast at the news of Bukit Gantang bus tragedy at the wee hours of August 13 2007.Twenty people were killed in the tragic accident. We are now told that the 37-year old driver of the ill fated bus had numerous summonses and even warrants of arrest for various traffic offenses committed over the last 6 years.

It is very clear that he should have been suspended and taken off the roads long time ago. Why was that not done? It has also been revealed that the bus too was not road worthy. How is that it was still on the roads? How did it pass through the annual inspections that are mandatory? These are some pertinent questions to which we need to find honest answers.

It is easy now to point the finger at the driver who also lost his life in the tragedy. He might have his faults but the enforcement authorities and bus operators too should take their share of the blame and owe the public an explanation and apology. There is no doubt that the complacency and irresponsibility on their part has resulted in the unnecessary loss of 20 lives.

Imagine the immense sorrow and misery that these deaths have inflicted the families of these victims. It is dreadful to imagine that many among them could have been the sole bread winners. How many children would have lost their parents in the mishap? These deaths should never have occurred if only the authorities responsible had acted diligently according the trust placed in them by the people at large.

It is frightening to know that there may be many more such irresponsible drivers and buses plying our highways everyday. They are nothing but potential "death traps" waiting to snap at anytime. The authorities must act fast to take these dangerous "death traps" off our roads before more people lose their lives. The transport ministry must be firm in ensuring that bus operators adhere strictly to all the safety regulations that govern them.


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