Saturday, January 25, 2020 | ePaper

Road safety still a far cry

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A GOOD number of motorised vehicles, especially motorcycles, are running without retro-reflective number plates and radio-frequency identification tags across the country defying repeated warnings of the Traffic Department of Police. According to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, 24.91 lakh RR number plates have so far been tagged to motor vehicles, but some 5.58 lakh vehicles are yet not using the plates, and of them majority is motorcycle. Nowadays, motorcycles are increasingly facing fatal road accidents. The BRTA on January 9 issued an urgent circular warning the vehicle owners either to collect the number plates by this month or face legal actions. The initiative for using RR number plates was taken in 2012 to make the roads safe and disciplined, but it apparently failed. It can also prevent stealing of vehicles as the radio-frequency identification involves a wireless non-contact system that uses radio-frequency electronic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object for the purposes of automatic identification and tracking.
Many vehicles after being registered in one district are reportedly plied in other districts. We think it's a big administrative failure.  The Nirapad Sarak Chai in a report on January 4 showed that among the 1,190 drivers killed in road accidents during 2019, the highest 648 were motorcyclists, 23 per cent. Several initiatives went in vain for using helmets and other safety gears, and not to carry more than one passenger. Another problem is that- motorcycles are also frequently used in crimes from snatching to killing. Criminals prefer this vehicle for their safe and speedy movement.
One thing is now clear that like other vehicles including bus and truck, the BRTA has also miserably failed to bring motorcycle riders in any disciplinary arrangement. BRTA again proves itself a useless organisation which is incapable to meet the public demand.

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