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Monday, October 15, 2018 08:12:18 PM
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Traffic rule violation in city shoots up at alarming levels

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THE worsening scenario of the capital's traffic management is the one burning issue frequently discussed and written about. It's not only about increasing number of vehicles within the city's limited road space, the woe now is about rampant reckless and wrong lane driving, use of illegal hooters, beacon lights, tainted glasses, driving on footpaths and driving without legal documents, avoiding wearing seatbelts and helmets and illegal parking here and there. Moreover, in recent times it has become starkly noticeable when unimaginable jams erupt due to frequent arrival of VIPs and Head of States.

However, according to DMP Traffic Department statistics, the traffic regulatory authority has filed about 8.75 lakh cases and realised Tk 41.18 crore as fines for violating traffic rules till November 17 this year. During the period, they have filed around 2.21 lakh cases against motorcycles, 75,616 for wrong lane driving, 27,393 for using hydraulic horns, 2,410 for using hooters and beacon lights, and 2,004 for using tainted glasses and also have seized 3,646 motorcycles. Given the massive numerical figures it's easily understandable where the situation is heading towards.

Additionally, both the traffic and police management appear somewhat perplexed to strike a balance between opening and closing of roads when our ruling party politicians, head of state and VIPs commute through the city roads. Needs be mentioned, the High Court on October 23, 2014 served a show cause notice on the government and police to explain why they should not be asked to enforce traffic rules strictly to prevent some VIPs and VVIPs from using the wrong side of Dhaka's streets to avoid traffic congestion. We are yet to learn about the explanation provided to the HC.

The point, however, the city's traffic management would start improving from the moment the authorities effectively implement digitised enforcement system while establish the rule of law in our roads. Ineffective manual trafficking through our roads has not only resulted in partial collapse of traffic system in some areas, but given the mounting number of vehicles the poorly trained few sergeants are repeatedly failing to address the dilemma. Additionally, we expect the DMP to install CC TVs in all important roundabouts and intersections, so to monitor and take action against poor quality trafficking. Most importantly, since the traffic authorities continue to fail, it's time to engage the public in the process.

Last but not the least, the current average speed of a vehicle in Dhaka is about 7 kilometres per hour only, it's likely to go below 5 kilometres soon. If some measures are not taken immediately, we fear soon the capital may come to a standstill.

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