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Making driving licence mandatory to buy a bike is welcome

05 February 2023

As per a draft guideline, nobody will be allowed to buy a motorcycle without a driving licence. Also, one would need a licence to get a motorcycle registered with the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority. This has been stated in the draft Motorcycle Operation Control Guideline-2022 guideline prepared by the BRTA to control the operation of bikes, the vehicle involved in the highest number of crashes in recent years.
The guideline reads operations of bikes on highways and inter-district roads will be suspended for 10 days before and after the day of any major festivals like Eid. And no biker will be allowed to carry a pillion passenger on highways. The speed limit for bikes on highways and inside cities will be 60 kilometres per hour and 30 kmph respectively. Violation of this guideline by a rider, dealer, an agent of a motorbike producer or an importer will be considered as crimes and legal actions can be taken against them. A sharp and unregulated growth of vehicles, especially motorcycles and three-wheelers, over the last few years has resulted in a spike in the number of crashes and casualties. A total of 40.07 lakh bikes out of 55.92 lakh vehicles were registered with the BRTA till December last year. At least 7,713 people were killed in 6,829 crashes last year. Bikes were involved in 2,973 of the accidents that left 3,091 people dead.
An investigation by a government committee into road accidents during last year's Eid-ul-Fitr holidays found a sharp rise in bike crashes and recommended banning motorcycles on national highways that don't have service lanes. A proposal on banning motorcycles on highways was placed before the road safety council on November 15 last year. Scooty-type bikes are less accident-prone than sporty-type ones, which are more common in Bangladesh. So, the production of scooty-type bikes should be increased and the vehicle should be popularised. It also stipulates that bikes cannot be sold or registered with the BRTA if the buyer does not have a national identity card.
We welcome the provisions of the draft law and wish to see enforcement following the protocols as early as possible. Ensuring the safety of passengers should be our priority, as the draft guideline has.

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