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Dhaka Tribune

DNCC mayor: Dope test for bus drivers soon

The mayor made the announcement in a meeting with road safety movement activists

Update : 04 Apr 2019, 09:58 PM

The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) is planning to introduce a dope test for bus drivers soon, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said on Thursday.

Speaking at a meeting with representatives of several academic institutions, the mayor said the process to introduce the test system was already underway.

The meeting took place at the DNCC headquarters. The representatives were all participants of last month’s road safety movement that followed the death of a university student, run over by a local passenger bus on March 19.

Speaking to the representatives, Mayor Atiqul assured them of fulfilling several demands that the protesting students put forth during their demonstration last month.

The demands include installing zebra crossings instead of foot over-bridges on the streets, installing CCTV cameras to monitor traffic, incorporating lessons on traffic rules into primary education from 2020, running campaigns in mass media, and setting up digital traffic light systems.

The protesters also demanded bus service rationalization under six companies – proposed by Atiqul’s predecessor Annisul Huq, adequate number of driving schools, ban on contract-based bus driving, and action against bus owners who employ drivers without valid licences.  

The students who attended the meeting were from Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), North South University, American International University-Bangladesh and United International University, among others.

On March 19, BUP student Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury was run over and killed on the spot by a Suprovat Paribahan bus in front of the Jamuna Future Park in Kuril, Dhaka.

The incident immediately sparked outrage across Dhaka as well as parts of the country. The next day, DNCC Mayor Atiqul  announced the formation of separate student committees to ensure discipline on the roads as he laid the foundation stone of a foot over-bridge named after Abrar near the scene of the accident.

At yesterday’s meeting, the mayor urged transport owners, workers and traffic police to help realize the students’ demands.   

“We have already started work to upgrade the road between Malibagh and Kuril Highway as a model road. Push buttons and flashlights will be installed at every zebra crossing,” he added.

The city authority will also install fences along the road dividers to stop jaywalking, and strictly monitor whether buses stop on the roads outside the designated spots, he added.

Atiqul also urged the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) to take necessary measures to start automated vehicle fitness tests.

The meeting was also attended by DNCC CEO Md Abdul Hai, BRTA Chairman Md Moshiar Rahman, and Dhaka Metropolitan Police Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic) Mir Rezaul Karim, among others.

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