SMP's helmet campaign sees success
S.A Shofiee, Sylhet :
A motorcycle rider went to the Diba Ratri Petrol Pump in Chandipul to get fuel on yesterday afternoon, but was refused re-fueling.
The fuel station staff did not heed to his requests as he had no helmet - a safety gear for riding motorcycles.
The situation is similar at most of the filling stations in Sylhet, thanks to the strict measures taken by the Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) to ensure road safety.
On September 2, the SMP announced a campaign that filling stations will not sell fuel to motorcyclists who do not have a helmet with them.
The move comes a month after students held nationwide protests for safer roads demanding enforcement of traffic laws, checking drivinglicenses and papers, and forcing motorcycle riders to wear helmets.
'My helmet was stolen on Friday night and I did not get enough time to buy one. But there are no hard feelings. I appreciate the initiative because safety comes first,' said a rider, who wished not to be named. The SMP's initiative apparently came out as the most effective to ensure road safety.
Many stakeholders have lauded the initiative, but there are the negative sides too.
Employees of some filling stations said youths, some of them without helmets, come and ask for fuel. They also threaten the owners if they are refused fuel, and the owners are compelled to sell fuel to them.
Kushiara Petrol Pump Manager Abdul Mannan said most of the riders now wear helmets. Most petrol pumps in Sylhet have now installed a signboard or banner that read 'No fuel without helmet'.
'I did not wear helmet because of the hot weather, but after the protests, I started using it,'said Fahim Ahmed, a motorcyclist, who came to buy fuel at the state-owned filling station in Paribagh.