Pedestrians reluctant to use footbridges

Jaywalking main reason for road fatalities

ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman

12 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Pedestrians reluctant to use footbridges

Pedestrians risk their lives to cross a busy road at Natun Bazar in the capital though there is a footbridge nearby. The photo was taken on Tuesday. — Kamrul Islam Ratan

Mindless of the risk of fatal accidents, pedestrians often cross busy roads in the capital without using footbridges and zebra crossings, not giving a damn about traffic rules.

Though jaywalking is one of the main reasons for road fatalities in the city, pedestrians are reluctant to use footbridges and zebra crossings, traffic police sources said. 

Despite having footbridges and zebra crossings near busy intersections, pedestrians often cross roads without using them in violation of traffic rules, they said.

Sometimes, jaywalkers get locked in altercation with traffic sergeants when they are stopped from crossing roads for not using footbridges and zebra crossings.

Many pedestrians die every year after they meet with accidents while crossing roads illegally. Pedestrians comprise around 60 percent of the road users in the capital.

Lack of awareness, unplanned footbridges and zebra crossings and reckless driving are the main reasons for road crashes in the capital, sources concerned said.

Forty-seven percent of the deaths caused by city road crashes are pedestrians, said Kazi Md Saifun Newaz, assistant professor at Accident Research Institute (ARI) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

Pedestrians are reluctant to use zebra crossings, footbridges and underpasses as most of them have been constructed in inappropriate places, he added.

Saifun Newaz suggested that road safety issue should be incorporated in textbooks at school level to create awareness among students about traffic rules.

He also said traffic police should distribute leaflets among pedestrians and erect signboards at roadside alerting them to the deadly consequence of traffic rules violation.

If anybody is found violating traffic rules, he/she should be fined by law enforcers, Saifun Newaz added.

Abu Hasnat Musa, a traffic sergeant of Gulshan police working at Banani intersection, said they along with scouts are working to create awareness among pedestrians.

“If anyone is found reluctant to obey our direction, we take him to our traffic office and give counseling to obey traffic rules,” he added.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said they have launched a month-long campaign to bring discipline in traffic management.

The DMP chief called upon the city dwellers to use zebra crossings, footbridges and underpasses for crossing roads to prevent fatal traffic accidents.