“We need to know whether those who’re driving [vehicles] use drugs. They need to undergo dope tests. This test of every driver is absolutely essential. You’ve to do that,” she said while addressing a discussion through a videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban.
The Road Transport and Bridges Ministry arranged the virtual event at the auditorium of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) on the occasion of the National Road Safety Day 2020.
The Prime Minister asked people not to take laws in their own hands and discard their mentality to assault drivers and attack vehicles in the case of any accident for saving victims as it invites further accidents in many cases.
She suggested that pedestrians should use zebra crossings. “Everyone must follow traffic rules as those are effective for everyone.”
Sheikh Hasina asked drivers to shun the mentality to overtake another vehicle on roads and highways as it causes accidents in many cases.
Pointing at pedestrians, the Prime Minister said there is a serious lack of awareness over traffic rules. Some pedestrians cross roads just raising their hands before running vehicles, not considering that it takes time to stop a vehicle even if the driver uses the brake. People will have to be aware about it,” she said.
“It’s not just the drivers who should be blamed. Our pedestrians also need to be aware. There’s a great lack of awareness,” Hasina said.
Citing more examples for violation of traffic rules, she said the most unfortunate matter is that mothers carrying babies cross roads without using footbridges. “If anyone falls under a vehicle why should I blame the driver?”
A father taking his bay in arms was seen crossing a street climbing up a road divider. If the foot slips a little bit and the child will simply die in an accident. Then who is to be blamed? she questioned.
About the tendency to assault the driver in the case of an accident, she said a pedestrian suddenly goes to cross the road from the sidewalk not watching the vehicles coming from the back and then a vehicle hits him or her. “And people start beating the driver and kill him finally. But no one was to blame for the accident, though the driver gave his life.”
She advised people to call the police on 999 to rescue the victim and take him to the hospital as now police services are now very good.
The Prime Minister asked those who are in the movement for a safe road to carry out a massive campaign in this regard.
“There’s court where it would be tried…, if it’s the fault of the drivers, then the law (court) will take action. Any shouldn’t take the laws in their own hands,” she said, adding that many people die for taking laws in their hands.
The Prime Minister stressed the need for providing trainings to bus helpers alongside the drivers, ensuring the fitness of vehicles, need for alternative drivers for long route vehicles and not going for non-stop driving for a long time, and making all aware about traffic rules right from the school life.
She said the government will construct restrooms for drivers along all the long-haul roads in phases as the drivers need rest in case of long driving.
The Prime Minister said the government has been working to ensure road safety formulating different plans.
She said the government is improving rural roads so that villagers can enjoy urban facilities staying in their villages.
Focusing on the ongoing road infrastructure development projects and plans, Sheikh Hasina said the government is building the road network between the capital and the rest of Bangladesh.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader presided over the function, while Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan was connected through the virtual platform.
Road Transport and Highways Division Secretary Md Nazrul Islam delivered the welcome speech.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Road Transport and Bridges Ministry Md Akabbar Hossain, Chairman of ‘Nirapad Sarak Chai’ campaign actor Ilias Kanchan and noted columnist Syed Abul Maksud, among others, attended the event.