Motorbike riders continue to flout sidewalk rules

July 23, 2013

Motorbike riders continue to flout sidewalk rulesIllegal motorcycle riding continues on the sidewalks of the capital city flouting the rules as well a High Court order with the police looking the other way.
In the absence of enforcement riders use the sidewalks as their free way to the detriment of the pedestrians.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police and its traffic wing pay no attention to the gross irregularity. The city has forgotten that the sidewalks are for the pedestrians.
On March 5, 2012, the High Court asked the DMP and the Dhaka South City Corporation and the Dhaka North City Corporation not to allow anyone to drive or ride motorcycles on the city’s footpaths.
Riders are subject to the same laws on the road that make it illegal to drive on the sidewalk.
Motor cyclists on the road are subject to all laws of the road.
They must stop at stop signs, obey speed limits, and for violations they could be pulled over for speeding.
Motor cyclists cannot use sidewalks as their freeway.
Motor cyclists also flout the traffic rule that requires them to wear helmets.
Taking action against the motor-bikers is the responsibility of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said the officials of Dhaka South City and Dhaka North City corporations.
But the motorcyclists ignore the court order in denying the pedestrians their right to use the sidewalks.
Motorcyclists as well as vehicle drivers encroach on the sidewalks at Shabagh, Banglamotor, Tejgaon, Moghbazaar, Ramna, Hatirhjeel, Mouchak, Khilgaon, Rampur and Mirpur, especially during traffic congestion.
On Sunday, a mobile court fined at least 20 motorcyclists for using the Minto Road sidewalk.
Executive magistrate Sarah Sadia Nazrin told New Age that motorcyclists are regularly fined for using the sidewalks as it could lead to serious accidents.
Mahbub, a Kakrail resident, said that Dhaka has become totally an unfriendly city for the walkers.
All the sidewalks of the city have been taken over by shops and vendors or the motorcyclists use freely them, he said.
It is almost impossible to walk on the footpaths due to the motorcyclists, said, Suborna Rina Chowdhury, a Moghbazaar resident.
Most of the roads have no traffic police who could take action against such violations, she said.
According to the DSCC and DNCC there are about 389 kilometres of sidewalks in the city.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority says the city has 2,77,599 registered motorbikes.
DSCC administrator Mohammad Nazrul Islam told New Age on Sunday that no city corporation was empowered to take legal action against the riders or drivers.
Only DMP is authorised to enforce the traffic law and take action under it, he said.
‘Besides we don’t have the manpower to oversee issues like this,’ he added.
DNCC administrator Akhter Hossain Bhuiyan said that it was the responsibility of the police to enforce the traffic law or action for the violations.
DMP deputy commissioner for traffic Khan Mohammad Rezwan told New Age on Sunday that the police filed 150 to 200 cases against motorcyclists every day for flouting the court order.
Ideally, he said, Dhaka city should have a maximum of two lakh vehicles but it has nine lakh.
It obviously creates a huge pressure on the police, he said.
According to BUET’s  Accident Research Institute about 58 per cent of road accidents in the city take place due to pedestrians.

Courtesy of New Age

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