The committee will start working from next week
The government has formed a taskforce to implement the 111-point recommendation of the National Roads Safety Council to restore discipline on roads and highways, and thus reduce accidents, Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said Thursday.
“The decision has been finalized, and the home minister will lead the taskforce which will start its activities from next week,” said Quader, also Awami League general secretary.
“Taking initiatives are not enough. Initiatives should be implemented,” he said while talking to reporters after the 27th meeting of National Road Safety Council at the office of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) in Dhaka.
“It’s not right that we could not bring discipline on the roads. We have managed to bring discipline in several sectors, and hopefully we will be able to bring discipline on this sector too.”
A project to construct rest houses on highways has already been approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), and the Asian Development Bank has agreed to provide loan to extend the Dhaka-Sylhet highway to four lanes, he furthered.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the decision has been taken after discussion with the transport owners, workers, and concerned committees of different ministries.
He said: “Details about the law will be known in the upcoming weeks.”
Inspector General of Police Mohammad Javed Patwary said: “Dhaka Metropolitan Police has no dumping station. So, we cannot take away the seized vehicles. Indiscipline on the roads will be reduced if we have a certain place for the dumping.”
He told, hundreds of high-rise buildings were built without any parking facilities. "The authorities concerned should not give permission to build high-rise buildings without parking facilities," he added.
“It is quite impossible to control traffic if people do not follow the rules. People have to be more conscious. Only then we will be able to solve the problem.”
DMP Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Mia said that DMP has become a fine collecting organization instead of serving, due to the culture of laws violation.
“We want that DMP becomes a service providing institute rather than collecting fines.”
He also suggested forming a taskforce to bring discipline on the roads.
Meanwhile, the meeting has approved the 111-point recommendation to include the creation of a "road safety authority" under the supervision of the prime minister.
The recommendations include social awareness campaigns through films, billboard screenings, campaign on bus tickets, and mass media, should be made mandatory, and free of cost; traffic laws to be integrated into the academic curriculum up to 10th grade by 2020; the BRTA has to create 1,000 skilled instructors; every driver should be given primary medical training so that they can treat a road accident victim immediately after the accident; drivers must take driving exams under the Driving Competency Test Board before the term of their beginner licenses expire; zebra crossings of a certain height should be built in front of all institutions including schools, colleges, and madrasas, passenger barriers should be placed between road dividers, separate bicycle lanes should be made on roads, aside from multi-storied parking lots, terminals should have restrooms for drivers, to reduce vehicular pressure on roads, ring roads should be made around the banks of rivers surrounding Dhaka, to resolve navigation crisis, trauma centres, and fire stations should be constructed at certain intervals, separate roads or lanes should be made for low-speed vehicles, every car should have an RFID tag, and the traffic police should be equipped with such devices that can enable them to find any information on a vehicle, without having to stop it, CCTV cameras, speed radars, or devices capable of measuring the speed limit, and photographing the license plate should be installed on accident prone roads; 5% of national funding should be allocated for the development of the roads and highways; all road and transport related organizations should have to deposit 1-2% of their annual profit to this fund.
Members of the taskforce are: Inspector General of Police (IGP), Secretaries of the concerned ministries, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner, chief executive officer of Dhaka North and South city corporations, Chief Engineer of Roads and Highway Division or LGRD, chairman of BRTA, Executive director of Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA), representative of Road Transport Owners Association, representatives of Bangladesh transport workers federation, truck-covered van owner association, and prime movers association, representative of cabinet division, Dr. Md Shamsul Haque, Syed Abul Maksud, Ilias Kanchan, additional IGP of Highway police, and representative of BRAC, while secretary of Roads Transport and Highway division will act as member secretary.
Among others, Home Minister Assaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujon, former shipping minister Shahajahan Khan, Inspector General of Police Mohammad Javed Patwary, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Mia, Chairman of the Standing Committee on the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry AKM Ekabbar Hossain, Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association executive president Moshiur Rahman Ranga, Road transport and highways secretary Nazrul Islam, Railway secretary Mofazzel Hossain, and BRTA chairman Matiur Rahman were present at the meeting.