ROAD SAFETY

Ministry for more discussions to realise 111 recommendations 

Shahin Akhter | Published: 00:00, Jun 29,2019

 
 

Road transport and bridges ministry plans to hold more discussions on the implementation of 111 recommendations made by the committee headed by former shipping minister Shajahan Khan to bring back order on roads and curb accidents.

Some committee members, however, said that the government should implement the recommendations without wasting time for discussion as most of these stipulated in the existing laws.

On Thursday, the road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader told reporters at a press conference that he was studying the recommendations.

The ministry on June 16 held an internal meeting with the officials of the ministry and its departments to decide how to implement the recommendations.

The committee was formed on February 17, at the 26th meeting of the National Road Safety Council, when student protests for road safety revived after the death of a Bangladesh University of Professionals student on March 19 as a bus ran over the student at Pragati Sarani.

The committee submitted the recommendations to prime minister Sheikh Hasina on April 28.

The final report comprised 51 recommendations for immediate actions which were proposed to be implemented by December.

It also has 32 short-term recommendations, proposed to be implemented between 2019 and 2021, and 28 long-term recommendations, proposed to be implemented between 2019 and 2024. 

These recommendations are nothing new as they had been mentioned in the Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1983, Bangladesh Labour Act 2009, directives of prime minister and traffic laws while the High Court, different ministries and Dhaka Metropolitan Police have already issued the same directives, which are also under implementation.

Road transport and highways division secretary Md Nazrul Islam told New Age after the June 16 meeting that in the preparatory meeting they discussed and identified the ministries and departments concerned to implement the recommendations.

He said that the recommendations would be presented at the next meeting of National Road Safety Council as in its previous meeting a decision had been taken for preparing these recommendations.

After that, as the ministry planned, letters would be sent to the concerned ministries to implement the recommendations, he added.

One of the committee members, columnist Syed Abul Maksud told New Age recently that the government should immediately inform people about its decision on the recommendations that whether they would implement these or not.

Another member and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’s Accident Research Institute assistant professor Kazi Md Shifun Newaz said that they had prepared the recommendations in the presence of representatives of home affairs, local government, rural development and cooperatives and road transport ministries were present.

‘These recommendations are prepared after thorough analysis and we have to remember that about half of these have to be implemented within the current year,’ he said.   

For immediate actions, the committee recommended restriction on unfit vehicles on roads, modifications of vehicles and running of three-wheeler on national highways, use of seatbelts for drivers and passengers on front seats on buses and trucks and health of drivers before setting off from terminals.

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