POST TIME: 11 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 11 September, 2018 12:05:59 AM
Traffic awareness campaign

Traffic awareness campaign

Until now, traffic awareness campaigns usually lasted one week, but this time, it’s a month long rigorous campaign with a multifaceted approach to get rid of unfit vehicles, penalize drivers without papers, make road users aware of safety regulations, and to inject a sense of discipline into our psyche. Implanting in us the need to follow rules is of paramount importance because, for too long, we have taken the practice of circumventing the law to be normal.

Driving cautiously and with valid papers is essential though there has to be a desire among all people on the roads, either on foot or in a vehicle, to abide by the regulations. The ongoing traffic month is doing just that – instilling in us the significance of taking the over-bridge or using the zebra crossing to go to the other side of the road. In Dhaka, many accidents happen simply because people are too lethargic about taking the foot over bridge or waiting to come to a proper crossing zone.

During the ongoing campaign, 121 designated bus stops have been identified, with stern action taken against public transports stopping on the road to pick up or drop passengers. The cohesive drive, involving Dhaka Metropolitan Police, DMP, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, BRTA, scouts deserve kudos since all aspects of road safety are being covered, with the scouts keeping a sharp eye on pedestrian flouting the rules.

Reportedly, in the first four days of the campaign, 17000 cases were lodged with Tk. 1 crore received as fines. Though earning through lodging cases is not the objective here, the staggering amount shows how many offences were booked in such a short time. This may not go down well with the masses but there isn’t any other way. Sometimes one needs to be cruel to be kind. In the first few days, a semblance of discipline has come back to the roads. Vehicles are moving in line, drivers are not parking as per their whims and, motorcycle riders plus their passengers are wearing helmets.

All of these are positive signs though there is a feeling that sensing the month long drive, many buses and cars without proper papers are not on the road, waiting for the month to end. A prudent decision may be to extend the traffic month or have three to four such campaigns in the next one year so the rules are firmly ensconced with the message sent across that the law will not be lenient in matters of road safety.