Brazenly violating traffic rules, a section of errant youths are leaning into motorbike stunts and races on the city’s streets especially at Hatirjheel, the most charming hangout in Dhaka, posing the risk of deadly accidents. The youths, most of whom come from rich and political families, take part in the risky races grabbing a bulk portion of the streets in the dead of the night and even in broad daylight.
The deadly drills are witnessed at Hatirjheel, Aftabnagar, 300-feet road of Kuril-Bishwa Road, Badda, Bashundhara residential areas, Gulshan, Banani, Uttara, Dhanmondi, Mirpur, Shyamoli, Mohammadpur and Kamalapur. Sometime, they get into collision with other vehicles or hit pedestrians while try to show their expertise through reckless driving in high speed and high-decibel sound.
According to a survey this correspondent accessed, some gangs or groups of bikers, who are involved in such risky bike stunts in and around the city, have been identified as Hunt Riders, BD Ghost Riders, All About Road Riders, Ferocious Flash, Exile Riders, BD Riders’ Club, Blinded Wheelmen, Narayanganj Riders, Noakhali Riders, Syedpur Crazy Riders, Rajshahi Riders, Bogura Teachers Riders and Potuakhali Riders.
Razu Ahmed, a member of Noakhali Riders told The Bangladesh Post that he is interested in both racing and showing stunts on motorbike which are different from each other but equally risky. “Stunt is a popular sport like cricket and aggregate of various tricks with motorbikes in which the speed is limited between 10 Km and 20 Km. On the other hand, race is a different thing where the minimum speed is 70 km and the maximum is up to 120 Km.”
Traffic Police Inspector Mahfuz Talukder said “many youths take part in the race and stunts at Hatirjheel, Sat Masjid Road and nearby Dhanmondi Lake at night along with their girl friends and make video footage to upload on FB or web-pages, ignoring the risks. Their activities spread panic among the locals and commuters.”
In developed countries, the bikes used for racing or showing stunts, contain some extra features to ensure safety. Those vehicles are equipped with high-powered engines meant only for racing and stunts. Consequently, their prices are high. As such vehicles are not available in Dhaka, youths here use general vehicles for the same purpose that give rise to fatal accidents and death, Mahfuz added.
Rahat Karim, a resident of Modhubagh area in the city, said “normal movement on the Hatirjheel turn is often difficult due to the nuisance of racers or stunts- displayers. The reckless bikers along with their girl friends occupy the road and create fear in the name of showing stunts. It also hampers normal movement of other vehicles.”
Dr. Sultana Alagin, Associate Professor of Psychiatry department at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, said “some youths do so to prove them smart like the heroes of films. Watching their deadly activities, some crazy girls are attracted to them. But they don’t know what danger is waiting for them. Their guardians should be careful right now about them.”
According to Masudur Rahman, Deputy Commissioner of DMP's Media and Public Relations unit, “we have taken a number of steps to prevent such risky activities of the youths. Night patrolling has been tightened and some speed breakers installed on the roads. Besides, traffic police at around 600 points in the city have been asked to beef up their surveillance to prevent such activities.”