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Unfit vehicles rule Satkhira roads, claim 32 lives in 7 months

  • Published at 12:25 pm August 8th, 2018
Road in Satkhira
According to Bus and truck drivers, traffic police take a huge amount of money from the owners of unfit vehicles, on a monthly basis, to allow the vehicles to move on the streets Dhaka Tribune

Allegedly,  traffic police take money to permit unfit vehicles to use the roads

As many as 800 run-down and unfit vehicles, mostly buses and trucks, ply the streets of Satkhira. Their drivers do not heed the risk of road accidents. 

According to sources, 32 people were killed in road accidents, over the last seven months, in the southwestern district. 

Furthermore, around 15,000 unregistered motorbikes ply the streets, but authorities are not taking legal measures against the violators. 

According to sources at Bangladesh Road Transport Authority’s (BRTA) Satkhira zone, every day about 450 trucks traverse numerous routes in Satkhira. 

Additionally, several hundred other types of vehicles including: microbuses, mini-trucks, jeeps, pickups, auto-rickshaws, and vans also ply these routes. 

Local newspaper reports said in June, 10 people were killed and 16 injured – including 6 on a single day – in road accidents. 

Some 32 people were killed, and 51 others injured, in road accidents between January and July, the reports said. 

However, the district police Special Branch Inspector Azam Khan said 10 people were killed in an area under the jurisdiction of eight police stations across the district—and five cases were filed in the last seven months. 

Bus and truck drivers, on condition of anonymity, said traffic police take a huge amount of money from the owners of unfit vehicles, on a monthly basis, to allow the vehicles to move on the streets.  

Drivers of these vehicles are given special tokens to ensure they will not face any trouble, they said. 

Meanwhile, police, along with BRTA authorities, are checking vehicles and taking measures against the violators during the ongoing Traffic Week that began on Sunday. 

Traffic Police Sergeant Abdul Momin said the number of vehicles without fitness certificates has declined. 

“We are impounding unfit vehicles and suing the offenders. Besides, no motorbikes without registration are now plying on the streets.”

However, he denied that traffic police are taking money from unfit-vehicle owners. 

BRTA Satkhira zone’s Motor Vehicle Inspector Tanvir Ahmed said they are conducting mobile courts to take measures against unfit vehicles.  

“We impose fines on the owners and sue them as well.”

Over the last week, 37 cases were filed, fines totaling Tk34,000 were issued, and 2 persons were sentenced to jail, Tanvir said. He added that the number of illegal vehicles dwindled, thanks to these measures. 

“Had we had our own office and vehicles we could have worked more efficiently,” the BRTA official added.