Army to handle driving licences
The communications ministry is planning to involve the army in the issuing of driving licences so nobody can obtain a licence bypassing due procedures.
The attempt is being made so that people with fake driving licences and licences obtained through unorthodox means cannot put people on the country's roads in danger.
“As per the plan, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority and the army will work together to issue licences utilising the army's experience in the national identity card and machine-readable passport projects,” said a senior communications ministry official yesterday.
The official said the procedure for getting driving licences will be scrutinised. “Only educated and efficient drivers will be given licences following strict rules,” added the official.
He said Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain instructed the communications secretary to take steps in this regard.
RECKLESS DRIVING PENALTY
A new traffic law is in the offing to deal with the growing problem of road accidents across the country, UNB reports.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith said, “Our aim is to place the proposed Road Transport and Traffic Bill in parliament in January 2012.”
The bill has provisions for maximum two year's imprisonment and fines up to Tk 10,000 for reckless driving.
Muhith, however, said, “It shouldn't be two years...it should be seven years and the fine should be several lakhs.”
He was speaking to reporters after a meeting on the bill at his ministry's conference room yesterday. Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain, Roads and Railways Division Secretary Mozammel Haque Khan, officials of the Dhaka Transport Coordination Board (DTCB) and the BRTA attended the meeting.
Muhith said the bill would be placed before the cabinet in December this year for consideration.
He said the draft bill will be on a website for a month so that people can give their opinions on the bill. The opinions and recommendations will later be studied by the authorities concerned for 15 days and then sent to the ministry with recommendations.
Muhith said the Motor Vehicles Act was first introduced in 1939 and it was amended in 1983. The law allows punishment on 50 counts only.
The proposed bill will have provision for punishment on 300 counts of offences. Hit-and-run and leaving the scene of an accident will be an offence once the bill is passed by parliament.
“There'll be no loophole...everything will be covered,” Muhith added.
The new law will be applicable to everything transport related. “If any road accident results in deaths, it'll be under the penal code,” the minister said.
The finance minister said there are 10 lakh valid driving licences holders in the country against 15 lakh vehicles. He said the government would undertake different programmes to solve this discrepancy.
He said drivers will be trained and given licences by the BRTA on successful completion of the training.