Once one of my friends asked me to cross a roundabout without using foot over bridge just before passing over it, and he made me know that he was bored of foot over bridges. Then I asked him to look at a signboard attached to the bridge written ‘Thanks for using this foot over bridge', and told him that this kind of special thanks are needed for our next generations. Another day in the same circumstance I told another friend, if we use foot over bridge our children will do the same. Actually, I meant, awareness is important.
We are going through a criticism that public are not interested to use foot over bridges or under passes for their safety. Recently, most of the people of Bangladesh are engaged in an open discussion about the safety on road. A large part of them are speaking out against owners and operators of vehicles and Police as well. Some supported them before traffic week 2018 as in that week scouts joined the law enforcement agencies to make people aware.It is alleged that some policemen help offenders (transport workers, vehicle owners and operators) to make offense in exchange of hush money. I am not here to state whether it is right or not. But one thing I should tell, if we do not make any unfair means or offense how policemen can do that. First of all, we have to make us aware. And one should remind that every member of police is a common people like everyone of us (general people). If we can make us aware, we may dream about the safe road; otherwise it is not possible.
Sometimes we see mobile courts of Bangladesh Road and Transport Authority (BRTA) shifts their focus on jaywalkers who violate traffic rules. I heard some people to say that most of the foot over bridges and under passes are not located at right places, and most of the bridges are mostly occupied by vendors and beggars. These may the main cause behind not using foot over bridges to cross roads in the city.
Once we had only zebra-crossings to cross the roads. But focusing on pedestrians priority, the authorities concerned started to install foot over bridges and now we have so many over bridges; but the reality is pedestrians are not using these properly. Though we all know that crossing roads by avoiding foot over bridges is very risky and it is a violation of traffic rules, we avoid foot over bridges.
Debates, discussions, criticisms may provide a concept about a problem; it does not drive us to a solution if we do not make us aware. Our mentality should be changed positively in all spheres of life.
At the end of this write-up I should tell that use of foot over bridges is necessary not only for our individual or personal safety but also to make the conscious generations for a better Bangladesh and the journey for making us conscious can be started with the habit of using foot over bridges.
The writer is a student of Govt. Teachers’ Training College, Dhaka.