Traffic fines should be spent for road crash victims: J Barua | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 08, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:24 AM, April 08, 2019

Traffic fines should be spent for road crash victims: J Barua

Fines realised for traffic rule violations should be spent for victims of road accidents and training of drivers, a Supreme Court lawyer and rights activist said yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua pointed out that a huge amount of fine is collected for violation of traffic rules.

“But where did the money go? In which sector is it being used? It must be found.”

He was addressing a press conference titled “State Compensation to the Victims of Road Accident: Allocation in National Budget”, organised by Road Safety Foundation at the seminar room of Public Library.

“Since accidents take place due to violations of rules, the money collected as fine should be spent for the victims of road accidents and training of drivers,” he added.

According to the organisation's documentation of media reports, some 1,163 people were killed and 1,998 injured in road accidents in the first three months of this year.

“Unless there is accountability of collected fines, police will be encouraged to impose fines instead of establishing discipline on road,” said Barua, vice president of the organisation.

Politically-backed syndicates involved in extortion are the main barriers to bringing discipline in the country's mass transport sector, Barua added.

“Extortion takes place due to political patronisation. In fact, the syndicate behind extortion maintains chaos in the mass transport system because if discipline is established, extortion will end,” said Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua.

“Roads are built on public money and foreign loans. On what logic there is extortion on roads? On what moral ground? There is no answer. But the government does not take any measure against extortionists,” he said.

He made a 14-point recommendation that include keeping enough allocation for the victims of road accidents in the upcoming budget, building specialised hospitals at each divisional city, ensuring treatment facilities to the injured of road accidents, regular training and motivating drivers, and regularly examining mental and physical health of transport workers.

MS Siddiqui, a legal economist, called for making third-party insurance compulsory to protect the interest of accident victims.

Prof Dr Moazzem Hossain, former Director of Accident Research Institute of Buet, proposed creation of a road safety fund. According to him, the government can create a base fund, while the rest of the funding will come from transport registration, insurance and fuel tax.

Chairman of Road Safety Foundation Prof Dr AI Mahbub Uddin Ahmed presided over the programme.

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