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Shajahan Khan demands inclusion of bail provision in Road Transport Act

  • Published at 04:58 pm October 31st, 2019
road shahjahan khan
Executive President of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation Shajahan Khan addresses a press conference at Swadhinata Hall of Dhaka Reporters’ Unity on Thursday, October 31, 2019 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

The act will come into force from November 1

Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation (BRTWF) Executive President Shajahan Khan has demanded inclusion of some provisions, including bail, in the Road Transport Act 2018.

Shajahan, also the former shipping minister, made the demand yesterday while addressing a press conference at Swadhinata Hall of Dhaka Reporters’ Unity.

He urged the government to include a provision so that a driver can avail bail from court in a road accident case.

He also demanded any case of accidental killings to be filed under Section 304(b) instead of 302 of Bangladesh Penal Code, 1860.

The section 302 is reserved for murders, be of any kind, and the accused cannot get bail immediately. On the other hand, section 304(b) is reserved for punishing those who are responsible for killing any person out of negligence or rash driving.

While reading out a written statement, Shajahan also expressed his doubt over the return of discipline in the traffic system following court orders to compensate accident victims.

“The law did not clarify what actions would be taken if transport owners do not provide appointment letters to the transport workers.”

Shajahan Khan demanded the detailed explanation of the rules in the law, and the end of harassment of transport workers by police.

The government will start executing the law as of today.

Shajahan, also the chairman of the Standing Committee on Ministry of Liberation War Affairs, said: “We will observe the implementation of the law. We will closely monitor what the members of the law enforcement agencies do.

“We want appropriate implementation of the new law after eradicating all weaknesses, and inconsistencies. The role of all sides including the administration, law enforcement agencies, owners, workers, pedestrians, and passengers should be brought under consideration,” he went on saying.

Five-point demand placed

Shajahan Khan placed five-point demands to preserve the interest of the transport workers. Those are:

  1. Accidental cases should be  bailable. Cases should not be filed under section 302, without any investigation

 2. To ensure neutral investigation, a team comprising of police, and members from Accident Research Institute (ARI) will have to investigate the case, especially in sensitive      accidents

  3. Implementation of the 111-point recommendations of the National Roads Safety Council (NRSC)

  4.  To amend the Road Transport Act 2018 after accepting the BRTWF proposal

  5. Inspect all trucks, and lorries at the loading points against overloading

Replying to a journalist's query, Shajahan explained that those 111-point charter was placed based on seven ‘highly considerable’ issues in the transportation sector including, consciousness and knowledge, skill development, subsidies, efficiency, engineering side of vehicles, engineering part of roads, and proper enforcement of law.

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