Use of motorcycles has increased recently as a means of transportation. Passengers not only in Dhaka city but also in remote areas are using motorcycles to commute.

This definitely has its positive impact on the national economy. But the flip side is also costly, portrayed by the number of road accidents in the country. Motorcycles are involved more than other vehicles in road accidents.

The Road Safety Foundation recently published a report on the number of road accidents in the country in January based on reports from seven national dailies, five online news portals and television channels. According to the report, a total of 168 people died in 159 road accidents across the country in the first month of the year. 89 motorcycle accidents killed 103 people in the same month of the last year. So, the number of motorcycle accidents increased by 78 per cent while deaths by 63 per cent.

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The use of motorcycles and accidents is nothing new in the country. But the increase in ride sharing in recent times is one of the major reasons behind the alarming increase in the number of accidents. A section of youth have taken ride sharing as their source of income. Increased number of accidents is worrying. It’s unfortunate that the unemployment rate is very high among the youth, who are the most able section of the country’s labour force. The authorities must ensure their safety while they are trying all sorts of alternative means of employment.

Passenger transport on motorcycles is becoming very risky. To reduce the risk, both the individual and government need to be aware of some responsibilities. Firstly, motorcycle drivers should understand that flouting traffic rules increases the risk of accidents of which they become the first victims. Accidents can lead to death or in the worst case to mutilation making the victim unable to do any job for the rest of life. Secondly, traffic police should be vigilant in enforcing traffic laws. Motorcycles without a licence or unfit ones should be permanently banned. It must be ensured that motorcycle drivers and pillion riders must wear helmets and no one can drive without a driving license. Also the process of getting a driving license should be made proper. Banning reckless driving completely is also most important.

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