Traffic discipline still a far cry

Special Correspondent

28 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Traffic discipline is yet to return to roads and highways across the country as road accident takes place frequently, resulting in loses of lives.

Indiscriminate road crossing by pedestrians, motorbikes and other vehicles causes road accidents on different roads and highways, including Dhaka-Chattogram and Dhaka-Aricha highways.

Traffic rules violation by pedestrians and transport workers are a common phenomena on different city roads.

Road dividers have been made on different roads and highways to prevent road accidents, but many pedestrians and transport workers are usually breaking the traffic rules through unauthorised crossing the busy roads.

Many transport workers are also seen taking illegal U-turn on different busy roads and highways indiscriminately, resulting in frequent road accidents that claim many lives. Besides this, many rickshaw-van pullers are often seen ferrying their three-wheelers over road dividers on different busy thoroughfares in the capital, including Malibagh-Kuril Biswa road.

Joint Commissioner (traffic) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Abu Saleh Raihan said they were not aware of such indiscriminate road crossing by motor vehicles and slow-moving rickshaws in the capital.

“We are working hard to bring the city traffic congestion under control. Stern action would be taken if any traffic rule violator is found,” he warned.

According to Bangladesh Passengers Welfare Association’s (BPWA), as many as 6,686 people lost their lives and 8,600 were injured in a total of 4,891 road accidents in 2020 in Bangladesh.

Experts said small vehicles — defying a ban — ply highways and often collide with large vehicles, which lead to a staggering number of fatalities on roads.

Two other big reasons behind the accidents are disorderly movement of vehicles and the reckless attitude of drivers, they said.

The number of vehicles in the country is about 3.3 million, according to the BRTA. Drivers of about 2 million of these vehicles have driving licences and the remaining vehicles are driven by unlicenced drivers.

An analysis of the last five years’ data shows that the highest number of accidents occurred on the Chittagong-Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway.

BPWA General Secretary Mozammel Huq said it was possible to reduce accidents on the Jatrabari-Kanchpur Bridge Highway by rectifying some of the faults in road management.

“Several highways have been turned into 2-to 6-lane roads. Order can be established on highways if separate lanes are designated for different types of vehicles, like one for heavy vehicles and another one for cars and so on,” he added.