Sonargaon Crossing: Where traffic law is broken every moment
12:00 AM, November 20, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:54 PM, November 20, 2017

Sonargaon Crossing: Where traffic law is broken every moment

Police have put up signs warning buses of punishment for stopping near the roundabout at Sonargaon intersection in the capital's Karwan Bazar.

In what appears to be an attempt to deter unheeding drivers, a tow truck of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) is kept nearby.

Yet when The Daily Star videographers went to the spot on Sunday at 4:00pm and filmed the particular spot on Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue for 20 minutes, as many as 108 buses stopped right in front of the police signs, taking up a large portion of one of the busiest intersections.

At least five traffic policemen were present there. But the promised punishment was not being delivered.

Vehicles approaching the roundabout from Panthapath were forced to stop or slow down while the buses picked up and dropped off passengers. The place designated to do that remained empty only about a hundred metres away.

The Daily Star teams visited the spot on three days and waited to see what, if any, actions were taken against the errant drivers. But no action was seen.

It looked as if the bus drivers were competing with each other over violating laws. Meanwhile, commuters standing on the road waiting for buses made the situation worse.

“We are forced to stand on the road to catch a bus. We know the buses should not have stopped here. But what can we do?” said a man waiting for a bus.

Dhaka Traffic jam
Buses stopping in the intersection block the connecting roads causing heavy gridlocks on a daily basis. Photo: Khalid Hussain Ayon

Nur-e-Alam, a bus driver who stopped on the intersection, said, “People stand on the road and wait for buses. That is why I stopped here.”

Lutfunnesa, a woman standing on the road, said the designated place for buses was too small to serve its purpose.

Asked, Adibul Islam, senior assistant commissioner (Tejgaon Traffic) of DMP, said the intersection remained too crowded with vehicles and commuters most of the time for police to change the practice.

“We often file cases or punish errant drivers. But that process also adds to the congestion.”

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