The committee, headed by former shipping minister Shajahan Khan, to bring back order on roads and control accidents submitted 111 recommendations to the prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday.
It took about 70 days for the committee to submit the recommendations while it was originally scheduled to submit them within 14 working days of its formation.
It was formed on February 17 this year, at the 26th meeting of the National Road Safety Council, when student protests for road safety was revived after the death of a Bangladesh University of Professionals student on March 19 as a reckless bus driver ran over the student at Pragati Sarani.
Senior government officials, experts and transport leaders recommended strict implementation of laws and monitoring on drivers operating with fake licences or without licence as well as media broadcast on demonstrations during protests to avoid possible incitement.
They also recommended on-job training and incentives for transport workers besides engaging 1,000 driving instructors, strengthening BRTA by appointing 3,500 new staff, creating one or more taskforces to monitor the implementation of the recommendations and emphasising urgently-needed actions alongside immediate implementation of the Road Transport Act 2018.
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.
One of the committee members, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’s Accident Research Institute assistant professor Kazi Md Shifun Newaz, told New Age on Sunday that around 12:00pm they submitted the recommendations to the prime minister at her office.
At that time, of the total of 24 committee members 16 were present, including Shajahan Khan, also executive president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation, former state minister and Bangladesh Road Transport Owners’ Association executive president Moshiur Rahman Ranga, its secretary general Khandaker Enayet Ullah, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority director Sk Md Mahbub-E-Rabbani, deputy inspector general of highway police Md Atiqul Islam and others.
Kazi Md Shifun Newaz said that as the road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader was currently out of the country, they submitted the recommendations to the prime minister.
The committee held seven meetings to finalise the recommendations and uploaded these on the web page of BRTA on April 4, soliciting opinions from all.
Kazi Md Shifun Newaz confirmed that they had included some opinions in the recommendations.
For immediate actions, the committee recommended bus route franchise, restriction on unfit vehicles on roads, a bar on modifications of vehicles and plying of three-wheeler on national highways, use of seatbelts for drivers and passengers on front seats on buses and trucks, a ban on retro-reflective stickers on cycles and rickshaws and inspection of documents and health of drivers before setting off from terminals.
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