Road safety is not up to the mark because of improper management and an uncoordinated approach by several government organisations. Moreover, the tendency of people to disobey traffic laws exacerbates the situation, says Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia.
“If drivers use mobile phones while driving, pedestrians risk their lives by jaywalking, and nearly 98 percent of city dwellers don’t obey traffic laws — even angels wouldn’t be able tame the traffic chaos,” said the outgoing DMP boss.
Asaduzzaman Mia made the comments at Rajarbagh Police Lines on Saturday while addressing a programme on Dhaka’s public transportation system.
He said the police have held meetings with bus service providers several times in the last five years to discuss traffic order.
“We identified the issues and gave solutions. But almost nothing has changed because the concerned government organisations failed to make a coordinated effort,” said the DMP commissioner.
The police commissioner believes that the Dhaka traffic system needs better infrastructure and development to bring about ‘the change’. Citing the example of the Dhaka-Aricha highway, he said: “Fatalities dropped by 95 percent after the turns on that highway were straightened.”
Long-haul buses are parked in terminals inside the capital. Mia pointed out that these terminals need to be shifted to the outskirts of the metropolis.
“The DMP has designated 167 spots for buses to pick-up and drop passengers. Metal pillars have also been erected on walkways to tackle the menace of bikers.”
Regarding the manual traffic signal system, he said: “We have not been able to digitalise it.”
Not just drivers, but ignorant pedestrians also have to take responsibly for road accidents, said the police official.
The director general of the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association, Khondoker Enayet Ullah, and senior DMP officials were present at the programme.