A group wishes to weaken road transport act

Road Safety Coalition organised a press conference at the National Press Club on 1st October, 2022 demanding quick formation of the rules under Road Transport Act-2018.Sazid Hossain

A group is trying to enfeeble the road transport act, alleged Road safety Coalition Bangladesh.  The organisation questioned in whose favour no rules have been formed even after four years of the enactment of road transport act.

They demanded quick formulation of the rules. Road Safety Coalition organised a press conference at the National Press Club on Saturday demanding quick formation of the rules under Road Transport Act-2018.

Nirapad Sarak Chai chairman Ilias Kanchan said, regulations of the road transport act haven’t been formed even after four years. A group wishes to weaken the act from the very beginning.

In fact, they are running a movement demanding the act to be amended as well. The rules need to be formed fast, if the act is to be implemented, he said further.

It was said in the press conference that 25 thousand people die in road crashes in Bangladesh every year. Ilias Kanchan, in reply to a question hinting at the huge gap among the road accident information of different organisations said that non-government organisations formed accident reports based on media information.

All of these are secondary data, not complete information. It’s not the nom-government organisations’ duty to prepare road accident reports. The government should make these reports. Despite urging for a long time, the government isn’t making the report, he added.

Khalid Mahmud, manager of BRAC road safety programme read out the written statement at the press conference.

It said, road transport act was passed in the national parliament on 19 September, 2018. Although four years have passed since the enactment of this much talked about act, no rules have been formed.

As a result, taking effective steps to make roads safer and implementation of the act are being obstructed. And this in turn leading to a disorder on the roads and raising the death toll, he added.

It was said in the written statement that despite there being some stronger aspects of the road transportation act, there are a lot of limitations to it. Although, it is compulsory for the bikers to wear a helmet under this act, its standard and uses are absent in the act.

Despite there being mention of punishment for breaking the speed limit, nothing has been said about its implementation, monitoring directions or the guidelines.

Besides, the act doesn’t include the obligation for passengers to use seatbelts and obligation to use safe or secure seats for children, it said further.

Among others BRAC road safety programme director Ahmed Najmul Hussain, Centre for Injury Prevention and Research director Salim Mahmud Chowdhury, Dhaka Ahsania Mission Health and Wash Sector director Iqbal Masud and Bangladesh Red Crescent Society media coordinator Razwan Nabin were present in the press conference.

With the goal of reducing road accidents in Bangladesh, a joint intuitive named Road Safety Coalition Bangladesh started at the beginning of this year.

Nirapad Sarak Chai, BRAC, Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Accident Research Institute (BUET), Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh, National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Orthopedic Society, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication and Impressive Communication Limited are its member organisations.