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Dhaka Tribune

331 jaywalkers fined Tk24,095 for violating traffic rules

Update : 25 Nov 2014, 08:18 PM

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police  yesterday charged 331 people with Tk24,095 in fines for violating traffic rules at three busy intersections of Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue in the capital, on the first day of a week-long drive against jaywalkers, confirmed DMP Joint Commissioner (traffic) Moslem Uddin to the Dhaka Tribune around 7:30pm, adding that no one was sentenced to jail.

As a part of ensuring pedestrian safety, two mobile courts comprising two executive magistrates and a large number of DMP officials launched the pre-announced drive yesterday, running from 8am to 7pm.

Though the drive was supposed to be conducted at four intersections between Farmgate Police Box and Hotel Ruposhi Bangla, the mobile courts worked at the Farmgate, Karwan Bazar and Banglamotor intersections.

The Dhaka Tribune talked to the executive magistrates, Md Sarwoer Alam and Abdul Kuddus, in the afternoon, and they said until then 80 jaywalkers had been fined at the Farmgate and Karwan Bazar areas, while 63 were fined in the Banglamotor area. The fine ranged from Tk20 to Tk200, Kuddus said.

Visiting the aforementioned areas, this correspondent found that traffic and pedestrian movement was quite disciplined compared to any other day. A large number of police members were seen instructing pedestrians to use footbridges and the lone underpass in Karwan Bazar to cross the roads. Besides, traffic police also explained how to use the zebra crossings to pedestrians.

DMP Commissioner Benazir Ahmed visited Karwan Bazar intersection to observe the progress of the drive around noon and expressed satisfaction.

Mixed reactions from city dwellers Pedestrians had mixed reactions on the first day of the drive to strictly implement road crossing rules. Some were satisfied with the way things were going, while some others were unhappy about having to wait in queue to use the footbridges and zebra crossings.

Mohibul Alam, one of the pedestrians who was fined, thought while the initiative was good, the DMP should have started with spreading awareness first.

“I know the DMP had made an announcement about it on Saturday, but it was not right to start charging fines right away. They should have taken more time to spread awareness among people,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.

Shilpi Rani Das, 45, another pedestrian, said: “I was aware of the drive. I have knee problem, which is why I cannot climb stairs, so I cannot use the footbridges. So when I tried crossing the road, a female police stopped my and told me to take the footbridge.”

Claiming it was also difficult to stand and wait in queue with her bad knee, Shilpi said: “When I informed her about my problem, she let me and some elderly people cross the road without taking the footbridge.”

The DMP commissioner had announced the launch of the drive on Saturday.

“A special mobile court will start its operation to stop the pedestrians crossing busy roads without using footbridges and underpasses. The violators will get six-month jail and they will also have to pay a fine,” he said.

He urged the city people to extend their support to the authorities in a bid to reduce life risk and traffic mismanagement.

According to data collected by the two city corporations in the capital, there are over 50 footbridges and three underpasses in the capital.

Sadly, almost all of them remain devoid of pedestrians as most of the footbridges have been grabbed by hawkers with their makeshift shops, creating hassle for the commuters. A few of them have gone into bad shape for lack of proper supervision.

In addition, pedestrians are habituated in using the shortest way by crossing busy roads in front of moving vehicles and consequently fall victim to fatal accidents, and sometimes create unnecessary traffic blocks.

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