Monday, 17 June, 2024, Reg No- 06
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HC orders fitness test of vehicles twice a year

Published : Monday, 20 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 113

The High Court in a full text ordered the authorities concerned to conduct the fitness test of buses, minibuses and trucks compulsorily twice a year besides controlling the speed of vehicles.

The High Court verdict also ordered the authorities concerned to fine the drivers and assistants of buses and mini buses if they board and disembark the passengers anywhere other than in specified places.

Though the full text of the HC verdict released on June 19 last year, but the Road Transport and Highways Department made a policy recently fixing the maximum speed limit for motor vehicles on various roads including expressways, national and regional highways.

In line with the High Court directive, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) had on May 7 issued the Motor Vehicle Speed Limit Guidelines 2024 to maintain disciple in the movement of motor vehicles on roads across the country.

Ilias Kanchan, founder Chairman of Nirapad Sarak Chai (NISCHA), a voluntary social organization working to ensure road safety said, "Uncontrolled speed of motor vehicles is mainly responsible for frequent road accidents increasing the number of casualties in the country."

"We are hopeful that road accidents would come down following implementation of the guideline and the authorities concerned must implement the guidelines properly," he said.

Saidur Rahman, executive director of Road Safety Foundation, said  road accidents would come under control if the High Court directives are implemented properly. The High Court directives should be widely publicized to create public awareness, which will also be effective to reduce road accidents.

According to Road Safety Foundation, from 2019 to last year, a total of 31,163 people died and 45,972 were injured due to the road accidents.

According to data revealed by the Bangladesh Jatri Kallyan Samiti in 2023, every year about 25,000 people have lost their lives following road accidents in Bangladesh.

Every day, an average of 64 individuals lose their lives in road accidents across the country, resulting in an annual death toll of nearly 25,000 people. Notably, 51 per cent of these victims are bread earners, highlighting the economic implications of these incidents.

The World Health Organization estimates that these accidents account for a significant 5.3 per cent loss of Bangladeshs GDP.

On February 7 in 2014, in four Supreme Court lawyers filed a writ petition following the death of income tax lawyer Mokhleshur Rahman, who was killed by a Suprabhat Paribahan bus in the capitals Merul Badda, seeking High Court directive to compensate victim family and other directives to prevent road accidents.

After hearing on the petition, the HC bench HC bench comprising Justice Zubair Rahman Chowdhury and Justice Kazi Zenat Haque had on June 26 in 2022 gave its verdict with seven directives. The full copy of the judgment was published on June 19 last year.

In its judgement, the HC bench observed that almost all accidents involve buses, minibuses and trucks for not following the Motor Vehicle Ordinance that prohibited speed running of the vehicles. Therefore, speed control devices should be installed to control the speed of these vehicles.

It also observed that most accidents are caused by brake failure. In order to control this, the fitness of buses, minibuses and trucks must be mandatorily checked every six months.

According to the judgment, passenger buses in the metropolis compete to provide the maximum number of trips to maximize revenue. So, the number of daily trips of a bus has to be fixed to prevent accidents.

It ordered the authorities concerned to mark the places, where buses would enter there and pick up and drop passengers. The driver, his helper and the passenger will be fined for stopping the passenger boarding and alighting between the roads.

It asked the authorities concerned to take steps for making separate lanes with poles and chains for rickshaws, fixed speed limits for motorcycles and construction of traffic stands at designated places on all roads for ensuring safety for all.

Deputy Attorney General Sheikh Saifuzzaman, who is the state side in that case, said that if these High Courts directives are properly followed, road accidents will reduce in the country.

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