Truck drivers’ strike unacceptable
It is depressing to note that truck owners and workers have gone for strike without realising that their demands are groundless, and especially the one regarding the five-year imprisonment for killing someone on the road while driving. Additionally, they are pressing for their seven-point charter including amendments to the Road Transport Act, 2018. However, because of their strike since last Sunday, no trucks or covered vans could leave or enter Dhaka.
Moreover, the strikers obstructed vehicular movement in the capital's different areas. Even disturbing is the fact, they vandalised around 15 buses and motorbikes. People in this country have a constitutional right to stage demonstration or even go for a strike, but none has any right to destroy public property. It is our expectation that the responsible persons for the vandalising public transport and private vehicles would be soon brought to book.
We also do not believe that drivers do not come to road for killing anyone deliberately, the point; however, what could be the solution for a situation when someone in the driving seat kills irresponsibly. Take, for example, in mind the events when terrorists ploughed through people and killed en masse. Even a truck driver in Bangladesh can potentially turn into a terrorist. In such a case the murder of a person or persons cannot and must not be defined as an accident. Therefore, such deliberate act of killing ought to be tried under Section 302 of the Penal Code.
Concurrently, there must be a legal measure for stopping rash driving on the road. Everyday people are getting killed on our roads for many reasons including rash driving. The previous punishment for three years for rash driving failed to reduce this on the road. In the last example, the nation witnessed horrifically killing of two college students in the capital just for the driver's rash driving which he could easily avoid.
Laws are made and implemented not just for punishing the guilty; they are also made for creating awareness, creating responsibility. They are much needed deterrents. Still, for many the provision for five years punishment for rash driving has become a lenient one in the Road Transport Act 2018 just approved by the president. The strike programme by the truck drivers and workers is an irresponsible act causing easily avoidable hazards in the transport sector and they would do better by withdrawing it the soonest.