The motorcycle has become a synonym of recklessness and bad manners in this country. The way most motor bikers drive, move and behave on roads and streets is nothing but a reflection of incivility. A majority of them do not care about pedestrians and drive on footpaths. Some also recklessly drive in the wrong and opposite direction flouting traffic rules. All these create more chaos and indiscipline on roads, causing trouble to other vehicles if not outright accidents.
Now another dangerous phenomenon is emerging thanks to access to motorcycles for boys at an early age. A growing number of teenagers and underage boys in Dhaka as well as other parts of the country are now driving motorcycles. Manufacturing and marketing of cheap motorcycles make it easy to purchase a motorbike by any middle-class family. So, a teenager driving a motorbike becomes a common sight on many roads in Dhaka.
The thrill of driving motorcycles leads a large number of these boys to acts of daredevilry and notoriety. They now care little about social norms and have no respect for seniors. In some cases, even the guardians of the boys have little control over them. Again, some parents feel proud of their sons driving motorcycles at such an early age. They are oblivious that the minimum age for getting a motor driving license is 18.
As a bad culture of the juvenile gang has already become a threat to the healthy growth of juvenile boys and girls, owning motorbikes by some juveniles is a temptation for a number of them to join criminal gangs. Motorbike gives them freedom of movement here and there easily and empowers them to display their heroism. Some of them use the motorbikes to disturb and eve tease girls going to schools or elsewhere. Some are even involved in snatching and illegal drug peddling, taking the advantage of their motorbikes. Accidents are also are not uncommon although minor in nature in most of the cases. Many juveniles have indulged in these acts without the consent or knowledge of their family.
Unfortunately, a section of local political leaders backs the underage driving of motorcycles and use the boys as their party workers. Existing party workers and cadres also encourage them. By getting some political backing, the juveniles easily cross their limits. Their hyperactivities know no bound creating social chaos. By driving non-registered motorcycles and fake driving licences, they have started to think themselves above laws. That's why they dare block roads or streets whimsically ignoring the troubles caused to pedestrians. They involve in racing with other vehicles, especially private cars, intentionally to put car drivers in trouble. Some notorious boys even attempt to collide to their advantage with cars and then block the cars demanding undue compensations.
A campaign against underage driving is necessary to check the social disorder. This is, however, not sufficient to address the problem. Law enforcers have some limitations due to inadequate manpower and logistics. Moreover, in most cases, they are used to ignore the unruliness of motorcycle drivers on roads. The ripple effect of reckless driving without facing any penalty has already spread across society. Anarchy of careless motorcycle driving by underage boys and juveniles is a reflection of the trend.