Dushanbe Buses Flout Traffic Rules

Reporter Parviz Ubaydullo looks at the apparent impunity with which public transport vehicles in the Tajik capital Dushanbe flout all traffic regulations.

Dushanbe Buses Flout Traffic Rules

Reporter Parviz Ubaydullo looks at the apparent impunity with which public transport vehicles in the Tajik capital Dushanbe flout all traffic regulations.

Monday, 27 April, 2009
Dushanbe’s mayor recently banned “marshrutkas”, minubuses that serve as shared taxis, from the city centre, so now the buses and trolleybuses have it all to themselves.



According to passengers, the result was that that bus services promptly got a lot worse. They complain of late running and overcrowding.



Meanwhile, the traffic police say bus drivers are reckless, stop anywhere they want to let people on and off, and generally ignore the regulations to the point of creating na hazard for other road users.



One driver said in his colleagues’ defence that the problem was that buses tended to pile up one behind the other by the time they got to a bus stop so they had to park wherever they could. Also, he said, passengers flag them down anywhere on the road. Another driver suggested it made sense to pick up people along the way as there were "too many" people waiting at bus stops.



The authorities have now changed the law so that if bus drivers are caught stopping illegally, they will get a reprimand, but a second offence will mean a court case where they will either be fined or lose their license.
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