• Saturday, Dec 14, 2019
  • Last Update : 04:37 am

Road Transport Act 2018: Transport workers demand lower punishment

  • Published at 01:34 am November 23rd, 2019
Benapole Transport Strike
File photo: Long route buses parked at the Benapole land port bus stand as transport workers continue their protest on Thursday, November 21, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The federation will submit a proposal to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal in this regard on Saturday

Leaders of the Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation (BRTWF) have urged the government to soften the provision of punishment for the transport workers by amending the newly enacted Road Transport Act. 

The federation will submit a proposal to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal in this regard on Saturday.

The decision came out from a two-day meeting of the federation, chaired by BRTWF Executive President Shajahan Khan, at its office in Segunbagicha on Saturday.

While briefing journalists over the outcome of the meeting, former Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said: "Leaders of the country’s transport workers will sit for a discussion with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Saturday to press home their demands.

“Transport workers told me that the provision of punishment in the new law is harsh. So, they should be changed,” said Shajahan Khan.

Workers do not trust law enforcers as police can easily misuse the law, he said.

"The workers want police to frame charge sheets with the help of the Accident Research Institute (ARI) to identify the actual cause of an accident,” he added. 

The proposal will also be placed at the meeting of the Taskforce on Road Transport, scheduled to be held on Sunday, he added. 

Although the government announced to execute the new law from November 1, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) authorities finally began to implement it from November 14, after holding a two-week-long awareness-building campaign.   

Shajahan blames BRTA for transport strike

Lawmaker Shajahan Khan has blamed the BRTA authority for pushing the drivers and workers to call a nationwide strike over the new Road Transport Act.

“Leaflets published and distributed by BRTA mentioned 13 penalties for drivers under different clauses of the new law. These leaflets caused fear among the drivers which led them to call a nationwide strike,” Shajahan Khan said.

“There are also penalties for pedestrians, engineers, and others under the new law. But, these were not mentioned in the BRTA leaflet,” he added.

“We have convinced the transport workers to ply vehicles and countrywide traffic has already returned to normal.” 

In reply to a query, he said: “We did not call any strike. Worker observed ‘abstain from work’ spontaneously." 

BRTWF General Secretary Osman Ali, among other district-level leaders, was present at the briefing.