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Ensuring safer roads

Ensuring safer roads

Should the school and college students’ efforts to bring discipline to traffic movement end up in total failure? After the protests were withdrawn, there is a rush of people in the capital’s Bangladesh Transport Regulating Authority (BRTA) office to get a driving license or a fitness certificate of their vehicles, but the reality is traffic movement in the city is basically back to square one.

Still there is the rash driving or mad competition among the buses to take passengers; still there is the pathetic sight of dilapidated and unfit vehicles on the roads, not to mention the other ills such as overcharging fair from the passengers or overloading the buses despite the fact these are being called ‘seating service’ all illegally though.

All these are happening at a time when the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has been observing a ‘Traffic Week’ beginning on Sunday almost overlapping the last days of the students’ protests for safer roads. Traffic police is filing cases after cases against drivers for not having a proper license or fitness certificate or motorcyclists without a helmet. Cases are being filed even when the person on the back seat of a motorcycle is found without helmet but the person who is on the driving seat has one.

And one does not need great intelligence to conclude as the Traffic Weak ends today, Dhaka is going to have the same messy affairs on the roads. But how would then the desired change come?

First and foremost, it is the DMP that has to carry the tempo of the consciousness generated among people amid the children’s protests. If they give slackness to their duty of maintaining the traffic or indulge in corruption, there will be no change on the roads. But if they enforce relevant rules of the road, we can hope to have better traffic in the capital. For better traffic regulation, freeing footpaths from grabbers, installing road signs and marking zebra crossings, imparting professional training to drivers and improving the existing traffic laws are all very important.

But the capital alone should not be the focus. The fact of the matter is it is on the highways the most fatal accidents take place. We know the limitations of the highway police: they do not have adequate manpower and necessary equipment to enforce traffic rules. It is expected that the government would help the highway police in overcoming its shortcomings. It would be a matter of shame for the nation if the children’s lives and subsequent protests for safer roads go in vein.  

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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