Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday said proper coordination among three elements -- implementation of law, education, and awareness on road usage and traffic rules -- can curb road accidents.
The minster was speaking at a roundtable titled “Safe Road: Execution of Law and Public Awareness,” at Jatiya Press Club.
“Law alone is not enough to ensure road safety…We won't get safe transport system only by enacting law, unless a healthy culture of obeying law is established and awareness is raised among people concerned,” the minister said.
“Apart from enforcement of law, awareness and education is needed. If we can coordinate these three, we will be able to curb accidents,” he said.
Jago Bangla Foundation organised the programme at a time when the country is witnessing frequent road accidents, making it one of the most talked about national issues.
Anisul Huq emphasised on responsibility of and awareness among all stakeholders -- transport owners, workers, road users and law enforcers -- to ensure road safety.
He said the government has enacted Road Transport Act-2018 in line with the developed world. However, proper execution of law is urgent to see its benefits.
ROAD TRANSPORT ACT NOT FUNCTIONAL YET
The parliament passed Road Transport Act and Digital Security Act-2018 on September 19 last year. Digital Security Act has already been in operation even before enactment of rules. But the government has not made Road Transport Act operational yet.
When this correspondent raised the issue with the minister after the programme, he said the rule of the act is must for execution of some of the sections. So, they will make the act operational after enactment of the rule.
At the 26th meeting of National Road Safety Council on February 17, a three-minister committee was formed to look into how the Road Transport Act-2018 can be implemented.
The committee, comprising law minister, home minister and railways minister was asked to submit its report in 14 working days. But the committee has not submitted the report yet. It did not even hold any meeting.
Asked about the committee, the law minister said they were supposed to hold a meeting on April 16 but the meeting was deferred as the home minister will go abroad. Now the meeting may be held later this month, he added.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Md Abdullah, World University of Bangladesh VC Prof Abdul Mannan Choudhury, Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation Chairman Farid Ahmed Bhuiyan, Road Transport and Highway Division Additional Secretary Humayun Kabir Khandaker and senior journalist Ajoy Dasgupta, among other, spoke at the programme with Chief Executive of Jago Bangla Foundation Nasir Ahmed in the chair.