Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia on Thursday directed the traffic division to arrest pedestrians if they cross roads in the capital without using footbridges and zebra crossings.
“We are blamed for any accident. But it needs to be changed. I am directing the traffic division of DMP to take steps so that pedestrians must use footbridges and zebra crossings to cross the roads,” the DMP chief said.“Arrest staff of buses in case of accidents… Also arrest pedestrians if they cause accidents. After arrest, you show media and people of the country that pedestrians cause the accidents by crossing the roads without using footbridges and zebra crossings,” Asaduzzaman told the traffic division.
The DMP boss said this while addressing a view-exchange meeting on “Traffic Discipline and Awareness” as the chief guest at Mahanagar Natya Mancha at Gulistan in the capital.
“We have our back to the wall. We have to take some measures for traffic management. We are saying it again and again. Now, we have to go for tougher legal action. If any pedestrian is responsible for road accident, he/she must be brought to book,” he said.
However, the DMP chief admitted that police and Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) have failed to bring discipline on the roads.
After the directive of the DMP chief, the daily sun correspondent talked to a number of pedestrians in Gulshan and Badda areas. Most of them said they do not know about zebra crossings.
Later, they were told that a zebra crossing is an area of road painted with broad white stripes, where vehicles must stop if pedestrians wish to cross.When they were shown the zebra crossings, one of them Rafiqul Islam, a day labourer, said, “Everyday, I see such mark on the roads, I did not know that it is called zebra crossing and pedestrians should use it for crossing roads.”
“I thought the marks have been painted for beautification of roads,” he said.
However, the drivers hardly stop or slow their vehicles at the zebra crossings.
On March 19, a bus of Suprovat Paribahan ran over Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury, 20, a student of Bangladesh University of Professionals’ (BUP), on Pragati Sarani at Nadda in the capital.
The bus hit the student while he was crossing the road through zebra crossing.
Rafiqul also urged the traffic police to take steps to make people aware of the use of zebra crossings.
Additional and joint commissioners (traffic) of DMP could not be contacted for their comments on the issue.
However, talking to the daily sun, Amzad Howlader, 68, a security guard of a house at Madya Badda, said it is very difficult for people like him to use footbridges. “Whenever I climb up the stairs of any footbridge, sweat drops from my body. I feel weak.”
He urged the government to set up old people-friendly footbridges.
According to data of the two Dhaka city corporations, currently there are 43 footbridges in Dhaka North City Corporation and 31 footbridges in Dhaka South City Corporation areas.