A picture on the front page of this newspaper on yesterday shows a number of Jaywalkers crossing a railway level crossing in front of an onrushing train.
According to Bangladesh Railway, some 263 people have died in accidents at railway crossings between 2008 and 2018. Experts are of the opinion that jaywalking, illegal establishments on and around the railway tracks in the city, violating signals and less monitoring at the level crossings are the most common reasons behind train accidents in the city as well as other parts of the country.
Restoring discipline on the roads of the capital has become the need of the hour. We often blame the unskilled and uneducated drivers for the violation of public rules. But it is needless to say that educated people including passersby and jaywalkers also violate the traffic rules.
We need to build a concrete social movement to
make people aware about road safety and
violation of traffic rules
Jaywalking accounts for numerous causalities though it is a very common and aberrant practice among the pedestrians in Dhaka and other big cities in the country. In Dhaka, despite having many adequately designed footbridges within reach, pedestrians are often found crossing roads jumping over the dividers.
We often blame the government for the road-mishaps, violation of traffic rules. But as citizens, maintaining discipline on the roads also falls on the shoulders of its users. We talk about road safety and how transport drivers drive recklessly on the roads. We write on jaywalking and how it increases the likelihood of accidents.
But what we now need is to create a concrete awareness about the violation of traffic rules amongst pedestrians and drivers. Most importantly, there is a need to execute stiff penalties for jaywalkers who put both themselves and the speeding vehicles in jeopardy.
We need to build a concrete social movement to make people aware about road safety and violation of traffic rules. Last but not least, traffic education should be a regular feature on print, electronic and social media.