The Traffic Week, which started from Sunday, was supposed to end on Saturday
The ongoing traffic week has been extended for three more days, announced Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia at a press briefing held at the DMP Media Centre in Dhaka at 1pm on Saturday.
The commissioner said the time has been extended to uphold the positive results that have been observed from the traffic week.
While addressing the briefing, he warned that anyone breaking traffic laws will be punished, regardless of the person’s status.
The traffic week began on Sunday [August 5], and was supposed to end on Saturday [August 11] amid thousands of protesters demanding road safety and visible progress on the verbal assurances given by the government over the effective management of traffic.
The eight-day protests were sparked after two college students were killed by a bus on the Airport Road at Dhaka on July 29.
The DMP commissioner said the protest, conducted by innocent teenagers, struck the morality of the common people.
“The demands put forward by them are logical,” Asaduzzaman said. “DMP took their demands to heart and, and decided to start the traffic week.”
The commissioner informed in the last six days of traffic week, 5,572 vehicles were dumped for lack of proper documents, and more than Tk3 crore was fined.
He then talked about further steps that DMP had taken against traffic violation in the last two years.
Steps were taken against 44,585 vehicles for using hydraulic horns, 5,000 vehicles for using hooter and beacon lights, and 1,44,461 vehicles for using the wrong side of the road, the commissioner informed.
Cases were lodged against 1,047 automobiles for using stickers of different institutions illegally, and against 6,162 for using tinted glass.
The commissioner further said over 400,000 motorbikes had been fined for hauling three passengers and for not wearing helmets. Around 10,000 motorbikes were dumped.
92,000 cases were also filed against vehicles after CCTV footages of those breaking traffic laws were collected.
“In countries overseas, 98% people abide by traffic laws, but in our country it is exactly the opposite- 90% of the masses violate them,” said the commissioner. “This makes it very difficult for the DMP to control the situation.”
He said traffic laws can never be established unless people start abiding by the rules out of their own volition.
However, Asaduzzaman assured that the DMP will not limit implementing traffic laws during the traffic week- it will continue upholding them throughout the whole year to reduce road accidents and fatalities.
Earlier at the beginning of the traffic week, the commissioner said action will be taken against vehicles without fitness certificates, drivers without licenses, driving on the wrong side and any other kind of traffic law violation.
He added: “The week will not only act against drivers, but also pedestrians who do not follow the law.”
The peaceful protests, started by teenagers, ended on a violent note after the protesters clashed with police and alleged ruling party associated wings during the last few days of the protest, leaving many injured and a few students in police custody.
As part of accepting the student demands, the government approved the draft of Road Transport Act 2018 with the maximum penalty of five years in jail and a Tk500,000 fine for fatal road accidents.