5576Published on August 6, 2018
The cabinet has given its final approval to a draft of the Road Transport Act 2018 that raises the maximum sentence for deaths from road accidents.
If ‘intention’ is proved in a road accident, it will be prosecuted under section 302 which means the death sentence. If the driver is responsible for a death, they will be prosecuted under section 304 (b) and will be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Punishment for road accidents has been raised to five years from three in prison and fines. The limit of the fine has not been limited.
The approval was given at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday.
Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam highlighted parts of the new draft at the Secretariat after the end of the cabinet meeting.
“If anyone is injured or killed in a motor transport accident, it will be considered an offense under the penal code,” he said.
“An addendum states that, regardless of the Penal Code, grievous injury or death resulting from an accident will be punished by five years in prison, a fine or both.”
An earlier version of the law had set the maximum sentence for deaths or grievous injuries related at seven years in prison, Alam said.
“It was then revised down to three years. Now, after taking into consideration the opinions of people from all classes, it has been set at five years and there will be no limit on the fine.”
“Investigators will determine which section the offense will fall under.”
The government rushed the new draft of the traffic law to cabinet amidst pressure from student protests for safe roads and an unannounced strike by bus operators in response to the demonstrations.