Shipping minister Shajahan Khan on Saturday said the victims of road accidents should also be tried besides the drivers.
‘Now the person who dies is not tried while only the drivers are tried,’ he said, adding, ‘The driver should be tried as much as he is responsible for any accident.’
He said sometimes people were victims for their own irresponsible attitude and non-compliance of traffic rules.
The shipping minister, also executive president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation, alleged that no actions were taken against errant pedestrians and road engineers for faulty road designs.
He was speaking as chief guest at the national representative meeting of Bangladesh Government Driver Association held at Gias Uddin Milky Auditorium in the capital.
Shajahan Khan said the High Court Division recently directed the owners of the bus, its driver and an insurance company to pay Tk 4.61 crore as compensation to the family of noted filmmaker Tareque Masud who was killed in a road accident in 2011.
‘Do you know the agreement? They agreed that if they won the case half of the money would get the lawyer who is Dr Kamal Hossain’s daughter Sara Hossian,’ Shajahan Khan alleged.
Few days ago two drivers were fined Tk 1 crore, he said, asking where they would get the money from.
However the High Court on May 8 directed the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation’s chairman and Sajan Bus Company owners to pay Tk 1 crore as compensation to two minor brothers of road accident victim Rajib Hasan.
The minister blamed columnists for writing against drivers only and recently a columnist demanded his expulsion from the cabinet.
Mentioning the accident of Rajib Hossain, he asked that why the columnist did not say that it was against the rule to put hand outside the vehicle while riding.
Quoting prime minister, Shajahan Khan said everyone — pedestrians, owners, passengers, BRTA — should be made aware, not only the drivers.
Prime minister’s assistant personal secretary Saifuzzaman Shikhar said recently the prime minister clearly stated that drivers were not the only to blame.
The association leaders urged the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority to make easy the renewal process of driving licences, scrap outsourcing of drivers in government offices and bring drivers under insurance.
BRTA chairman Md Moshiar Rahman said he would direct the officials to renew government drivers’ licences without any delay.
The meeting was attended, among others, by the association chairman Md Abdul Malek and general secretary Md Jalal Uddin.
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