To make sure such fatalities do not occur again, all the driver riders of Pathao from now on must offer helmets to the app’s users
Ride sharing app service Pathao has decided to provide helmets for all Pathao riders, when a passenger died after being hit by a Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) bus.
Responding to a Dhaka Tribune query, the company made the disclosure after a motorcycle passenger died and the driver rider was injured at an accident near the airport on Wednesday.
The passenger did not have a helmet at the time of the accident.
Pathao officials said their driver riders, in most cases offer helmets to passengers but they are often reluctant to use helmets.
The company plans to provide helmets to all their driver riders in Dhaka, Chittagong, and Sylhet, to ensure safety for both users and riders.
To make sure such fatalities do not occur again, all the driver riders of Pathao from now on must offer helmets to the app’s users, and the company has also added an option in its app to report any driver rider who fails to offer helmets.
A Pathao official said: “The approval of the riders to use the app will be suspended if they are reported.”
Replying to the Dhaka Tribune, Pathao said in a statement thatthe company is assessing the situation and coordinating with the authorities regarding the accident.
The statement reads: “We always urge every user and rider of the service to take precautionary steps while traveling. In the days ahead, Pathao hopes to work more closely with the government regarding road safety and to support the authorities in every possible way.”
We have already provided more than 5000 helmets last year to both riders and passengers, but we saw people were still not using them. Even in Ramadan we distributed over 1000 helmets to riders as extras for customers. We will soon distribute more helmets to users,” the statement read.
Pathao said they do not have an insurance policy yet, but are looking at multiple options.
“Pathao started its journey in December 2016 and we take insurance very seriously. We were the first ones to introduce insurance to our top 1000 riders. However, we are changing the modality now,” reads the statement, adding that they are expecting to have the policy in place soon.
When asked, a BRTA official said they do not have a separate policy for the safety of motorcycle passengers using ridesharing services.
According to the official, the same rule will apply to ridesharing services as applicable to other motorcycle users, as per the country's law.
The Motor Vehicle Ordinance Act 1983 prohibits driving without a helmet for both riders and passengers. After all is said and done, even though the safety laws are there and ridesharing companies like Pathao seem to be working towards ensuring passenger safety, passenger willingness to use helmets is key to preventing life threatening injuries.