Looking up at the Mayor Hanif Flyover at Sayedabad end, one can find two large road signs that read “vehicle stoppage is not allowed” and “crossing or movement of the pedestrian is prohibited”.
But those act as mere printed words which mean nothing to either vehicles or pedestrians.
Around 12:30pm, this correspondent saw a bus of Bondhon Paribahan from Narayanganj stop beside the sign, drop off passengers and then drive off.
Apart from being risky, such unmarked stoppages are a violation of traffic rules according to the Motor Vehicle Ordinance, 1983.
Asked, Jashimuddin Molla, one of the passengers who had disembarked from the bus, said, “I know it is risky to walk on the flyover but I have to do it to save time.”
Md Nazmul Hossain, a guard of a private security firm hired to provide security in the area, was found standing just beside road sign. “We became tired of asking the bus drivers to not stop on the flyover and for people to not walk on it but they did not pay any heed,” said Nazmul, when asked why no steps were being taken against the violators.
During an hour-long stay, every bus on the route continually picked-up and dropped-off passengers right in front of the sign. Some commuters even waited there to get on the bus and some jumped over the divider of the flyover amid traffic.
This was a mere snapshot of the violations of traffic rules taking place at a time when the fortnight-long traffic discipline programme is underway. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan inaugurated the programme on Tuesday.
Pedestrians too were seen flouting the rules. Around 1:05pm, four Ideal College students were seen crossing the busy flyover.
“As the next destination of the bus is Shanir Akhra, which is a far way from Sayedabad, so we take this risk to go home early,” said one of the students.
Contacted, Mofiz Uddin Ahmed, joint commissioner of traffic (south), told The Daily Star yesterday, “We often conduct drives and ask bus operators not to stop on flyovers as it is risky.”
“There were stairs attached to flyovers for pedestrian movement but we removed those to stop [the practice] yet pedestrian movement on the flyover continues,” he said, adding they will take necessary steps.
Violation of traffic rules were also seen while visiting the capital's Kakrail, Ramna, Farmgate, Karwan Bazar and Paltan areas yesterday.
However, all violators came up with excuses. Md Mozzammel, an official of the health directorate, was driving a motorbike on the footpath near Kakrail mosque around 2:10pm. “I know it is a traffic violation but I am doing it as I need to reach office early,” he said.
In some areas, three-wheeler rickshaws were seen playing on VIP roads in Kakrail, Hare road and Mansur Ali road, although the roads are off-limits for such slow-moving vehicle.
Several passengers said that they had bribed the on-duty Ansar men to use the road.
In front of Farmgate Police Box around 3:30pm, a number of people were seen jaywalking across the busy roads instead of using the footbridge a few yards away.
Traffic Sergeant Harun-ur Rashid was on-duty there at the time. Asked why this was happening, he said that they were trying their best but some people were not following the rules.
“There are still irregularities but the situation is improving,” he claimed.
According to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police traffic department, a total of 13,631 cases were filed in the first two days of the fortnightly programme and Tk 71,40,300 was collected as penalty. Another 5,472 cases were filed against motorbikes, the highest offenders, and 3,383 cases were filed against buses and minibuses.
The traffic database also shows that around 12,25,546 cases were filed in 2018 for traffic rule violation and Tk 86.09 crore collected as fine.
TWENTY-FOUR HOUR DUTY LAUNCHED
Meanwhile, the traffic department has started a night-shift duty for traffic officials recently to bring back discipline to the roads. Earlier, the traffic police remained on-duty from 6:00am to 11:00pm in two shifts.
In some cases, officials used to stay till 2:30am during the second shift but now officials will stay on the road round the clock.
Sources said the traffic department launched the 24-hour duty at 25-major points of the capital.
Mir Rezaul Alam, additional commissioner (traffic) of DMP, said they started the 24-hour duty to ensure discipline on the roads.
Asked about the irregularities, he said they were trying to bring about changes but it was not possible overnight.