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Mobile court to enforce Road Transport Act-2018 from Monday

  • Published at 01:13 am November 18th, 2019
Pedestrians crossing roads unlawfuly Mehedi Hasan/ Dhaka Tribune

The home ministry issued a gazette notification on Sunday, incorporating the Road Transport Act-2018 into the stipulation of the Mobile Court Act-2009, clearing the way for conducting mobile court operations

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and district administration are set to launch mobile court operations to enforce the much-anticipated Road Transport Act-2018 across the country from on Monday. 

The home ministry issued a gazette notification on Sunday, incorporating the Road Transport Act-2018 into the stipulation of the Mobile Court Act-2009, clearing the way for conducting mobile court operations.

"BRTA will run mobile courts at several points in Dhaka city on Monday, and it will be expanded to other parts of the city, said Dr. Kamrul Ahsan, chairman of BRTA.

"We have already received an order from the Law Ministry," he told Dhaka Tribune on Sunday evening, after Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader announced that the government is going to enforce the Road Transport Act-2018 from Monday.

Road Transport Minister made the announcement while speaking at a program at the American International University in Dhaka. 

However, two key sections of the law that deal with the inspection of unauthorized modifications, overhaul of body, and installations to vehicles are not incorporated in the schedule of Mobile Court Act. 

Also Read - Are we ready for the new traffic laws?

Therefore, the mobile court will not check for modification, and re-design of automotive body for overloading, although they were identified as the main cause of road mishaps in government accident reports.   

Under the new law, the maximum fine is being determined at as much as Tk5 lakh, and the minimum is set at Tk5,000. This penalty is much higher than the Motor Vehicles Ordinance-1983, where maximum fine was Tk5,000, and minimum was at Tk100.

Although the Road Transport Act came into effect from November 1 formally but BRTA mobile courts could not implement the law as the RTA was not incorporated into the schedule of Mobile Court Act.

In addition, Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader underscored the necessity for building awareness among people, and stakeholders about the law before it is fully enforced.

Over the last two weeks, BRTA and police have been running awareness campaigns, after a gazette notification was published. 

“The agencies concerned of the government should have launched campaigns immediately after the law was approved last year. The executing agencies should create an environment so that people respect the law to avoid hefty fines,” said Dr Shamsul Hoque, professor of Civil Engineering Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).   

Road Transport Act-2018 was approved by the Cabinet Division on August 6, 2018, following the nationwide student protest that took place on July 29, 2018 after two college students were killed by a speeding bus.

The draft law was passed in parliament on September 19, and approved by President Abdul Hamid on October 9 of 2018. 

On October 23 this year, the Road Transport and Highways Division issued a gazette notification announcing that the law would go into effect from November 1.

The Road Transport Act-2018 is replacing Motor Vehicle Ordinance-1983.

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