Tuesday, 24 May, 2022

Time to discipline bikers

During this Eid, approximately 2.5 million motorcycles were plying the roads and highways across the country to transport Eid holidaymakers who went home and returned to their work stations, the capital Dhaka in particular. Statistics show how dangerous bike riding is as almost half of victims of road accidents during Eid holidays were found to be motorcycle riders, either drivers or passengers. At the same time, the large number of motorcycles plying the highways also indicates the chaotic situation of the transport system of the country.

There is no denying that ridesharing has emerged as a source of income for a section of youth, along with bringing a sigh of relief for many people. But the opposite side of it cannot be overlooked in any way. While abundance of motorcycles is causing undue tailbacks on roads, especially within the cities, reckless driving by a section of bikers is increasing the risk of road accidents and number of fatalities, among whom there not only are the bike riders but also the pedestrians. Highway journeys by motorcycles are even riskier.

It is learnt that a large number of motorbike riders and passengers who died in road accidents this time were between the ages 15 and 25. Most of them had no licence and did not give a rap to the road transport laws. These youth have been riding their bikes recklessly under the noses of law enforcement agencies, but no action was taken against them for violating rules. This is in fact not the scenario for this Eid vacation only; rather this trend has been going on round the year. In the last few years, more motorcyclists died on the roads, more than half of them were not old enough to get a license.

Observing the overall scenario, it seems that the authorities concerned are entertaining the ridesharing to conceal their inability to manage public transport. However, if they think so it will be a suicidal decision. We know that many developed countries have been discouraging motorbikes because of its risk factor. So, there is no scope for us to entertain it, and carrying passengers over a long distance commercially is also a violation of the prevailing ride-sharing regulations. We must not go just the opposite direction the developed countries are going. A vehicle considered in other countries suicidal cannot be an option for public transport in our country.