With the sharp rise in number of motorcycles in Dhaka, the number of road accidents involving bikes also saw a gradual rise in the last three years, experts said yesterday.
Terming introduction of ride-sharing service as one of the main reasons behind the influx of motorbikes in the city, they emphasised on training to ensure road safety.
The observations were shared at the inaugural session of a training programme at Buet's Accident Research Institute (ARI).
ARI, in collaboration with Obhai Solutions Ltd – a ride-sharing service provider – arranged the two-day programme for 30 of the latter's riders.
In total, 300 riders will receive training this month. Others will be provided training gradually, Obhai officials said.
“Motorbikes are increasingly involved in road accidents of late. Road accidents, especially in the capital, have increased due to ride-sharing services,” Shahriar Parvez, a lecturer at ARI, said at the programme.
Ride-sharing services were launched in Dhaka in May 2015, and over two dozen service providers are now available in the city. The cabinet on January 15 last year approved the “Ride-sharing Service Guidelines 2017” to bring the companies under a regulation.
RISE IN MOTORBIKE ACCIDENTS
According to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, total 1,04,064 motorcycles were registered in Dhaka in 2018 while the number was 75,251 in 2017 and 53,738 in 2016.
According to ARI, at least 280 accidents occurred in Dhaka city last year; motorcycles were involved in 24.47 percent of the cases.
In 2017, 263 accidents happened in the capital, and in 18.25 percent cases, motorcycles were involved, it said.
In 10 months (March to December) of 2016, 123 accidents occurred in Dhaka, and motorcycles were involved in 9.75 percent cases.
ARI prepared the data on the basis of newspaper reports.
Speaking at the programme, ARI Director Prof Mizanur Rahman said motorcycles are one of the most vulnerable vehicles when it comes to accidents.
He said in many cases, helmets for passengers provided by the service providing companies are not up to the mark, which increases casualties.
Shifun Newaz, an assistant professor at ARI, acknowledged Obhai's endeavour for the safety of riders and passengers.
Quazi Omar Ferdous, chief operating officer of Obhai, said safety of riders and passengers is their number one priority and they would continue the training programme for their riders.