Two newly appointed magistrates of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) in Chittagong presented drivers and vehicle owners with flowers and chocolates yesterday, on the second day of their mobile court drive, for keeping their updated documents with them.
The drive was conducted at WASA intersection and Notun Bridge areas by Executive Magistrates Md Ziaul Hoque Mir and NM Manjurul Haque respectively from 10:00am onwards.
Around 12 drivers and vehicle owners were presented with flowers by Ziaul's court, while two people were gifted with chocolates by Manjurul's court.
“We want to compete in gifting people, not in charging people for breaking laws. People should understand that the system is not against them. It is for their welfare,” said Manjurul.
He, however, expressed his dissatisfaction for being able to present gifts to only two people for keeping valid documents.
On the other hand, a total of Tk 203,900 was fined in 92 cases for not having or not updating driving licences, registration papers, fitness certificates, or route permits. Motorcyclists without helmets were also fined, while some others were fined for violating other traffic rules, BRTA officials informed.
In the 92 cases, 29 vehicle owners were asked to face a hearing at the BRTA office for having expired documents, while 11 vehicles were dumped for lacking fitness.
After being appointed on August 27, the BRTA magistrates have been conducting such drives in the city since Thursday.
Those with proper documents and were conforming to traffic rules were praised, whereas punitive measures were taken against rule breakers, Ziaul told The Daily Star.
“The lack of proper awareness sometimes turns law abiders into rule breakers. Reward has the power to encourage people to do well,” he said.
Md Neyamatullah, a driver who received flowers, expressed his content to the correspondent.
“I have been driving for eight years in the city. But I had never received such appreciation before,” he said.
Md Shahdat, a local at the spot said, “If the drive continues by punishing law breakers and rewarding law abiders, I think more people would be encouraged to follow rules.”