The High Court yesterday asked the authorities concerned to conduct dope and vision tests on drivers’ licence seekers.
It also ordered the government to frame the rules of Road Transport Act 2018 and put the law into effect in six months.
The government should put CCTV cameras at key points on metropolitan city roads to detect reckless driving and take action, the HC said in its observation in a verdict.
The measures are aimed at curbing road crashes and reckless driving.
In the verdict, two bus companies were ordered to pay Tk 50 lakh to the two teenage brothers of Rajib Hossain, who died last year after his right arm got stuck between two buses and got severed.
The state-run Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) and owner of Sajan Paribahan were asked to pay in two months Tk 25 lakh each to Mehedi Hasan Bappi, 16, and Abdulla Hridoy, 15.
Rajib, who was a 3rd year student of Government Titumir College, died on April 17 after he lost his arm while two buses of the aforesaid companies were trying to overtake each other in the capital’s Bangla Motor.
In its observation, the HC directed the authorities to make sure in six months that buses of different routes are painted in different colours.
The court observed that the doors of all buses should be closed and could be opened only at specific stops.
Only ambulances and fire fighters are allowed to honk near schools, colleges, madrasas, hospitals and residential and restricted areas, the court said.
The HC kept suo moto (voluntary) rule as a continuous mandamus case so that any party can move prayer before it for necessary directives in order to prevent road accidents and to implement yesterday’s orders and observations in future.
The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam came up with the directives and observations through declaring absolute the suo moto rule issued by it over the compensation for Rajib’s family.
Rajib’s brothers Mehedi Hassan Bappi and Abdullah Hridoy expressed satisfaction at the verdict.
“This judgement is very important to us all. The drivers will not run unfit vehicles and the people without licence will not drive after this verdict,” Mehedi told reporters.
Ruhul Quddus Kazal, lawyer who moved for the suo moto rule, said, “I will be able to move prayers before the High Court for necessary directives in order to prevent road accidents and to implement its orders and observations later on. I hope Rajib’s brothers will get the compensation from the bus companies.”
BRTC lawyer M Moniruzzaman told reporters that his client would move an appeal before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court against the verdict.
Sajan Paribahan lawyer SM Shafiqul Islam Babul termed the verdict one sided, arbitrary and emotional. An appeal will be moved before the Appellate Division challenging the verdict, he said.
On April 4, the HC bench issued a suo moto rule asking the bus owners to explain why they should not be directed to give Tk 1 crore in compensation.
In the rule, the court ordered the authorities concerned of the government to show causes as to why they should not be directed to strictly enforce the relevant laws and rules for free movement of the passengers and to amend the laws and to formulate new rules for preventing such road accidents in future.
On May 8 last year, the HC ordered the two bus companies to pay Tk 1 crore to Rajib’s family. The companies filed two petitions with the SC challenging the HC order.
On May 22 last year, the SC stayed the HC order and asked it to form an independent committee to assess the liabilities.
The committee, led by Prof Mizanur Rahman, director of Accident Research Institute at Buet, said reckless driving was the “primary cause of the accident”.