Stakeholders think this initiative will help reduce accidents
A motorcycle rider went to the Sotota Petrol Pump in Tejgaon 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 Dhaka, thanks to the strict measures taken by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police(DMP) to ensure road safety.
On September 4, the DMP 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 arider, who wished not to be named.
The DMP’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.
Sotota Petrol Pump Manager Shariful Islam saidmost of the riders now wear helmets.
“Since morning (yesterday), we had to refuse only three or four people,” he said.
Most petrol pumps in Dhaka 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.
He said people should follow directivesto avoid accidents.
Another rider Arif Tonmoy suggested that the government should make sure that no one gets fuel without a driving license.
SM Habubullah, deputy manager of Meghna Petroleum Limited and in-charge of Meghna Model Service Center, said they do not provide fuel to riders without helmets.
“When riders carry helmets but do not wear them, we ask them to put onthe helmets first to get fuel,” he said.
Md Nazmul Hoque, managing director of Ramna Petrol Pump & Service Centre and president of Bangladesh Petrol Pump Owners’ Association, said sometimes they have to respond to the threats of the riders, even if they do not have helmets.
“Those who make rules need to follow them first. The riders shouldalso realize that wearing a helmet is required for their protection,” he said.