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Not fit for the road

  • Published at 12:04 am October 25th, 2019

The new act will go a long way towards ensuring our streets are safer

It should come as no surprise that one of the primary contributors to Bangladesh’s broken traffic system is the number of unfit vehicles which continue to ply our roads, with the number being close to half a million by last count. 

What is unacceptable, however, is that, for the longest time, these vehicles have continued to put the lives of people in danger with complete impunity and the authorities have done little to fix the problem.

In that regard, we appreciate the High Court pushing the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority to clean up its act, and ensure that no unfit vehicles are allowed present on our streets within the next two months.

BRTA must, no doubt, be held accountable for its negligence, and we cannot help but agree with the court in saying that allowing this culture of impunity to go on should be considered a crime. 

The least we can expect from BRTA, however, is that they take the new Road Transport Act, 2018 seriously, which is slated to become effective from November 1 of this year.

The new act will go a long way towards ensuring our streets are safer than they had been in the past, with the HC also asking authorities to refrain from providing fuel to vehicles which carry expired fitness certificates. 

However, what continues to concern is the rather lenient punishment reserved in the act for death caused by reckless driving, with a maximum of a five-year jail term. 

But the key will remain implementation, in which regard Bangladesh has not had the best track record. We hope the BRTA will rise to the challenge of bringing some order and justice to our roads.