Extending their full support to the Road Transport Act, 2018, transport owners today called upon everyone to abide by the new law that went into effect yesterday.
“The transport sector gets a new law after a long time and we have full support to it,” Khandakar Enayetullah, secretary general of Bangladesh Road Transport Owners' Association, said at a press briefing today.
He also demanded quick formation of the rules and regulations of the act.
Referring to different sections of the act, Enayetullah said that all the rules cannot be imposed within a day. “It has to be done gradually,” he said.
Mashiur Rahman Ranga, MP, also president of Bangladesh Road Transport Owners' Association, read out a written statement during the programme.
He urged the authorities concerned to be careful so that the transport workers are not harassed unnecessarily through abuse of the act.
“If the owners of the vehicles have proper papers and the drivers have licences, they shouldn’t be fined a large sum of money for any accident. The sector will suffer, otherwise,” He also said.
Although the much-talked-about Road Transport Act, 2018 came into effect yesterday, it could hardly be enforced anywhere in the country due to a lack of preparation from the authorities, especially the BRTA and the police.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
On October 22, the Road Transport and Highways Division issued a gazette, stating that the Road Transport Act (RTA) would be effective from today. Parliament had passed the RTA in September last year, replacing the Motor Vehicle Ordinance, 1983.
According to section 105 of the new act, if anybody gets seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle-related accident, it would be considered an offence under the relevant sections of the Penal Code-1860.
However, no matter what section 304(B) of the Penal Code contains, if anybody causes accident by reckless and negligent driving, and kills or injures someone severely, the person will face a maximum sentence of five years in jail or fine or both, reads section 105 of the RTA.
The offences that fall under section 105 are not bailable.
The maximum punishment under section 302 of the Penal Code is death penalty while it is life imprisonment under section 304(B).
The law also hands hefty fines for violation of traffic rules.
For driving without licence, the maximum penalty is six months in jail or a fine of Tk 25,000 or both. It is same for running unfit vehicles.
The maximum punishment for driving vehicles without registration is six months’ jail sentence or Tk 50,000 in fine or both. The highest punishment for honking banned horns is three months’ jail term or Tk 10,000 fine or both.
The law says the maximum punishment for illegally modifying vehicles’ body parts is three years’ jail sentence or Tk 3,00,000 fine or both.
According to the previous law, the maximum punishment for driving without licence was four months’ jail or Tk 500 fine or both. For driving vehicle without registration, the punishment was 3 months’ jail or Tk 2,000 fine or both (for first time) while for running unfit vehicles the punishment was three months in jail or Tk 2,000 fine or both.
Talking to reporters yesterday, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the new law was enacted to bring discipline on roads and highways across the country.
“Our main target is to bring discipline on roads … it’s our challenge,” he said after visiting an under-construction flyover at Shafipur on Dhaka-Tangail highway.