The annual rate of motorcycle registration jumped after 2014 when 90,685 were registered with the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.
In 2015, BRTA officials told New Age that 2.4 lakh motorbikes were given registration, 3.32 lakh in 2016 and 3.25 in 2017.
But 8,50, 917 riding license holders now ride 20,81,453 registered motorbikes across the country, they said.
In the capital alone, said BRTA officials, 5,12, 578 registered motor bikes are in use.
BRTA director for operation Sitangshu Shekhar Biswas said that after 2015 the rate of motor bike registration leaped since the police launched crackdown against unlicensed motorbikes.
The number of motor bikes increased in recent years as they became popular with the young chaps.
Arrival of ride sharing services like Pathao and SAM in 2016 also swelled the rate of motor bike
registration, said BRTA officials.
Uber Moto, Shohoz.com, FlitBd and O Bhai O Bon also run ride sharing services in the capital and some of them run their services in the port city of Chittagong.
Sudden rise in the number of motorbikes on the streets made them accident prone and unsafe, said road safety experts.
Until now the BRTA could not develop any mechanism to keep the records of motorbikes that were withdrawn from the roads after they got damaged or became unusable.
BUET’s civil engineering professor Md Shamsul Hoque said a motorcycle, being a two-wheeler, was
30 times more accident prone than a four-wheeler car.
He said that being unstable and unshielded motor bike riders meet with accidents causing deaths or severe head and spine injuries due to their love for speed.
In Bangladesh young people love motorbikes for their low prices, he said,
Another reason for the young people’s love for motorbikes, he said, was that the two wheelers could take them to their destinations meandering through traffic jams.
In the rural areas, he said, the use of motorbikes increased as the road conditions there don’t permit other vehicles.
He advised the government to discourage motorbike riding by increasing its price and providing more public transports for the commuters and long distance travellers.
BUET’s Accident Research Institute’s assistant professor Kazi Md Shifun Newaz said that as the BRTA did not follow the standard procedures for providing driving licences people at times get them by paying bribes.
Absence of any facilities to train motorbike riding in Bangladesh, he said, contributes to frequent fatal accidents.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police additional commissioner for traffic Mir Rezaul Alam said that the country wide crackdown prompted owners to get their motorbikes registered after 2015.
BRTA director for enforcement Nur Mohammad Mazumder said that BRTA mobile courts penalise more motorbike riders for various offences than the users of other vehicles.
In 2012, Bangladesh had 1.01lakh registered motorcycles.
In 2013, the number of registered motorbikes stood at 85,808.
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