Hundreds of thousands of motor vehicles, especially motorcycles, are running without retro-reflective number plates along with radio-frequency identification tags across the country in defiance of repeated warnings.
RR number plates are useful in tracking the location of the vehicles that use them in case of any emergency.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority officials said that till date 24.91 lakh RR number plates were tagged to motor vehicles while so far 30.49 lakh such number plates were produced.
The owners of some 5.58 lakh vehicles are yet to use the plate on their vehicles.
BRTA director for the engineering department Lokman Hossain Mollah told New Age on Sunday that most of these vehicles were motorcycles.
These days, different reports on road accidents indicate that the involvement of motorbikes in fatal road accidents is increasing.
Only 11 BRTA executive magistrates are struggling to check the irregularities on the roads in the Dhaka and Chattogram cities, according to BRTA officials.
Against this backdrop, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority on January 9 issued an urgent circular for all the vehicle owners to collect their number plates from its offices by January 31.
Otherwise, the circular warned, legal actions will be taken against the owners and drivers of the motor vehicles that would run without these number plates.
After prime minister Sheikh Hasina on October 31, 2012 inaugurated the production of RR number plates, the Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory Limited on November 7 started making the number plates.
The initiative was taken to improve the order and safety on the roads.
The retro-reflective materials send most of their light back to their source.
On the other hand, radio-frequency identification involves a wireless non-contact system that uses radio-frequency electronic fields to transfer data from a tag attached to an object for the purposes of automatic identification and tracking.
On October 10, 2015, a circular was issued, which read, ‘Vehicles which take registration from the BRTA will not be able to run anywhere in the country without RR number plate and RFID tags after December 31 in the same year.’
On December 31, 2015, following a BRTA proposal the deadline was extended till March, 2016.
But all these steps went in vain.
The latest circular issued in January pointed out that many vehicles, after being registered in one district, were plied by their owners in other districts.
When the number plates were prepared, the circular said, the owners refused to take their vehicles to the district of registration and applied for transferring their number plates to the district where their vehicles were running.
These transfer applications created different administrative and management problems, the circular further said, adding that the process was also time-consuming.
Under these circumstances, the owners have been asked to take their vehicles to the same BRTA offices to obtain the number plates, where their vehicles were registered, Lokman added.
A report published by Nirapad Sarak Chai on January 4 this year showed that among the 1,190 drivers killed in road accidents during 2019, the highest 648 were motorcyclists.
Besides, of all the vehicles involved in the 2019 fatal accidents, motorcycles caused the highest 23 per cent of them, the report added.
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