A committee headed by former shipping minister Shajahan Khan yesterday submitted its report on preventing road accidents and bringing discipline in the road transport sector to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The 16-member team led by Shajahan Khan handed over their 111-point recommendation to the PM at Gono Babhan, Kazi Md Saifun Newaz, member of the committee, told The Daily Star.
During their meeting, the PM talked about different road safety issues and put emphasis on training drivers and raising awareness among people, said Kazi, an assistant professor at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’s Accident Research Institute.
However, it’s not clear how the recommendations would be implemented and when the implementations would be initiated.
The committee, in its report, specified which authority will implement which recommendations. It also recommended setting up one or more taskforces to oversee the implementation and set three deadlines.
It set December 2019 as deadline for taking some immediate steps in this regard while 2019-2021 as deadline for short term and 2019-2024 for long term initiatives.
The government formed the committee on February 17. But the appointment of Shajahan, a top leader of transport workers, as its head sparked controversy.
The committee, holding several meetings, prepared a draft report containing a 111-point recommendation, including formation of a road safety authority under the prime minister’s supervision.
The authority would draw up plans in coordination with the agencies concerned, monitor the agencies’ work as well as identify the accident-prone zones and come up with solutions.
The committee’s other recommendations include allocating funds for road development projects, implementing franchise system for public transport, setting limits of all commercial vehicles’ economic lifeline, keeping first aid boxes in all long distance buses, giving priority to female drivers in government and non-government organisations.
The existing laws, guidelines and reports of other committees already cover many of the recommendations.
The committee, on April 3, decided to take opinions of people before finalising their report and uploaded the draft report on the website of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.
Asked whether they have considered public opinion, Kazi Md Saifun Newaz said they have incorporated “people’s opinion” into their recommendations.