Owners to be penalized for road crashes

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader said on Thursday that transport owners would not be spared for any road accidents under a new law being prepared, reports UNB news agency.

“We are going to bring the transport owners under purview of legal measures for any road crashes,” he told reporters as he visited a mobile court in Dhaka’s Agargaon area.

Currently drivers are held responsible and punished for road accidents, but the new law would have provisions to punish the owners who remain free from any action.

“We have drafted a new law for the road transport sector under which owners will come under the purview of legal measures,” the minister said.

The minister said he would place the draft law in the current session of Parliament, if not possible, in the next session.

Officially more than 8,500 people died in road accidents across the country last year. Some independent surveys say the death toll from road crashes was up to 12,000 in the past.

He also warned that unfit vehicles would be removed from Dhaka city roads in a short time.

“Vehicles which violate motor acts and run without proper documents will not run on city streets,” he said.

The BRTA on Wednesday launched a drive and set up two mobile courts to punish the unfit vehicles, and Quader said on Thursday that it would continue.

The drive is mainly meant for catching CNG-run auto rickshaw drivers as they often charge extra fair and run without proper documents.

The minister also urged city dwellers to limit the use of their personal vehicles for reducing traffic jam.

The courts led by BRTA’s executive magistrates KM Alamin and Abul Fateh Md Sofiqul Islam fined Tk 2800 each and sent 10 CNG-run auto rickshaw drivers to seven days to 30 days of imprisonment for charging extra fair from passengers and for running vehicles without proper documents in violation of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 1988 from 9:00am to 11.30am on Thursday.