The greatest tragedy is failure to act

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The 28th of December marked the one-year anniversary of our journalist friend losing one leg and much of the skin and muscle of the other after being hit by a bus. He now has an artificial leg and can walk with a cane. But the artificial leg still causes him many problems, and the skin and muscle grafted onto his “good” leg still do not function normally. Journalists are regularly the victims of road accidents in Dhaka, in part because they move around so much and tend to do so by motorbike. They are thus happy to raise a hue and cry about the problem of road injuries and deaths. But they tend to be vague in their demands, seeking safer roads without making clear that the only way roads will become safer is if we slow the speed of vehicles. This wouldn’t even necessarily translate into longer trips. Given the congestion in Dhaka and other cities, slower speeds could mean smoother traffic and thus no additional delays, or perhaps even in some cases improved times due to better traffic flow. And what if slower speeds did mean adding a few minutes to trips? How many limbs and lives will we continue to sacrifice for the sake of the convenience and, let’s be honest, enjoyment of those who wish to drive quickly?