12:00 AM, September 04, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:46 AM, September 04, 2018

'Model traffic system' for 7km stretch of city road

Pilot scheme to start tomorrow

The government has decided to ensure strict enforcement of traffic rules on the road stretching from Zero Point to Jahangir Gate on a month-long pilot basis, starting from tomorrow.

In a project titled “Model traffic system”, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), in association with city corporations, would try to bring the highest discipline to the seven-kilometre stretch of road, officials concerned said. 

The project was taken as per the direction of the Prime Ministers' Office. Several meetings with officials of PMO, the two city corporations, police, Scouts and other organisations took place earlier to determine the necessities to make it a success.

During the meeting, officials present said that they had been unable to ensure traffic rules for various reasons but the recent student demonstrations had shown them that it could be done. They, however, said it would be difficult to solve the situation overnight.

As part of the pilot, they would try to keep the specified roads free of jaywalking and the footpaths free of hawkers for smooth movement of pedestrians, they said.

To that end, city corporations have already been asked to erect 4.5 feet high strong fences on the median strips of the road so that people are forced to use the footbridges, underpass or zebra crossings, instead of jaywalking.

The fences will be put up in a couple of days, city corporations officials said.

There are currently nine footbridges, one underpass and zebra crossings on all intersections on the stretch of road. Cleaners have also been deployed to keep the footbridges and underpass clean at all times.

The city corporations have already arranged sufficient lights for the footbridges so that people can use those even at night.

As for managing the flow of traffic, police said commuters would have to follow traffic signals as traffic police would no longer use manual signals for the purpose. For this, the traffic signals on the roads are being repaired.

Additional traffic men will be deployed in the specified roads to enforce the rules and make people aware of them.

“We have identified major problems during the traffic week… Now we want to ensure highest discipline on the road,” Mir Rezaul Alam, additional commissioner (Traffic) of DMP, told The Daily Star last night.

“We will apply our experiences of the pilot project in other parts of the city, if it is successful.”

As many as 322 Rover Scouts, some members of Girls Guides, Red Crescent and other volunteers would be on the road everyday to help police as that had done earlier during the traffic week which started August 5. 

Golam Mostafa, director (community development and Health) of Bangladesh Scouts, said scouts members would help police in traffic management as well as in raising awareness among people.

A change in people's mindset was needed to make the project success, he said.

The project comes following the agitation for road safety by school and college students after the death of two students in a city road crash on July 29.

Soon after the protests, the traffic week had begun. But at the end of that, the scenario returned to as it was before, with traffic rules again almost forgotten.