At least 287 people were fined at different spots in Dhaka yesterday as Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) began a three-day special drive against jaywalkers.
Seven mobile courts of BRTA realised Tk 46,010 fine after conducting drives in New Market, Jatrabari, Bangla Motor, Mirpur, Banani, Rampura, Malibagh, Asad Gate and Shyamoli areas, according to a BRTA press release.
Including these seven, a total of 10 mobile courts conducted drives in Dhaka and Chattogram and fined Tk 3.37 lakh in 427 cases for violating traffic rules.
A BRTA official said they started the drive following the request of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner in an attempt to bring discipline among jaywalkers.
Shakhawat Hossain, an executive magistrate of BRTA, told The Daily Star that he fined 25 pedestrians for jaywalking yards away from a footbridge with escalator in Banani area.
Fifty people who could not pay the fines were let off after they promised not to jaywalk on the roads again.
Meanwhile, seven bus drivers were fined Tk 11,500 for illegal parking, violating traffic rules and using mobile phones while driving, Shakhawat said.
Most of the people killed in road accidents in Dhaka are pedestrians.
According to Accident Research Institute at Buet, 23 percent of the road accidents in Bangladesh occur in city areas. Of those, 74 percent happen in Dhaka alone.
As much as 74 percent of the accidents involve pedestrians, eight percent rickshaws, three percent motorcycles, two percent bicycles and 13 percent others.
On several occasions, BRTA and DMP conducted similar drives to stop jaywalking but to little effect. Just minutes after the drive, people start jaywalking -- risking their lives.
Shakhawat said apart from traffic police and mobile court drives, people including transport owners, workers and commuters should act responsibly to make the roads safe.