Vol. 5 Num 990 Wed. March 14, 2007  
Letters to Editor

Stop honking and blinking!

I would like to thank the Dhaka metropolitan police authorities for banning honking in certain roads in the capital. I must say this is a great initiative by the law enforcers. I would also like to see they do the same for many other roads. Honking on Dhaka streets has reached such a level that when you go out of your residence, everything seems so bizarre. It's entirely a paranormal situation.

However, I must say that people behind the wheels are not listening to the ban. They are continuing with their obnoxious practice of unruly driving. The tendency for honking, to my mind, actually comes from the lack of discipline and patience on the roads. First, we are not disciplined; we don't want to stay in the lane that I was originally driving my car in. Then, even after knowing that there's no way to go, we keep on honking as if to scare away the driver who is in front of me.

This has to stop. Only putting a ban on honking may not solve the problem. There's no one watching whether the drivers are really following the instruction. A programme on traffic education would have to be introduced for the drivers and would-be drivers. I've seen textbooks at schools in other countries containing intense lessons on traffic education. Whether one agrees or not, this leaves a life-long impact on the minds of the children who'd grow up and be future assets.

Why don't we start with textbooks for many of our wrongs? Or do we have to keep our murky politics in mind for doing that? Do we have to decide who - Bangabandhu or Ziaur Rahman actually thought of a good traffic system in Bangladesh?

There's another point I would like to make: "blinking" from the back. During nights, most cars on Dhaka streets ply with high-beam lights. Those who don't, keep blinking and confuse your eyes from the light reflecting from the view mirrors - from behind even if there is no space to let it pass by. If the blinkers, mostly driving sports utility vehicles, almost talk to you from behind as if to say: "Move!" "Move!"

Now I find this habit of blinking, when there's no reason for that, a very un-gentlemanly and impolite act. I've seen people, especially the elite of Dhaka who speak a foreign language at social gatherings trying to prove themselves a better breed, are the most arrogant blinkers on the streets.

Please ensure that people abide by those regulations. There are a million regulations to implement; so, you better start right now!