DHAKA: Motorcyclists without helmets will be barred from buying fuel at filling stations in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, police said.
The move is part of efforts to quell tensions after the city of nearly 20 million people was rocked by angry protests about poor road safety last month.
“The petrol pumps (owners) have already been told not to sell fuel to any motor bikers without helmets,” Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said on Tuesday.
He added that a maximum of two people were allowed on a bike and pillion passengers must also wear a helmet.
Protests across Dhaka and other cities in August saw tens of thousands of teenage school pupils and students block the streets to demand better road safety on Bangladesh’s chaotic and corruption-ridden transport network, after a speeding bus killed two teenage pedestrians.
In the wake of the protests, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s cabinet approved a new transport law stipulating harsher punishments for offenders.
Bangladeshi highways are some of the deadliest in the region with around 12,000 dying in road accidents every year, according to a private group that monitors accidents.
In the Eid al Adha holidays last month, 259 people were killed and 960 people were injured in 237 road accidents in the space of 13 days.
In Dhaka, like elsewhere in Asia, more than two people riding a motorbike or a moped is a common sight. Many times, none of them wear helmets. —AFP