The government may issue driving licences to individuals now in possession of fake ones after relaxing the related rules, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said yesterday.
He was speaking to leading transport owners and workers at a views-exchange meeting on “Problems and prospects in the transport sector” at the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority office in the capital.
A film star and road-safety campaigner, Ilias Kanchan, who was also present there, said drivers possessing fake licences could be given genuine licences following a short training and a relaxed written test.
The illegal drivers may be asked to surrender their fake licences to the authorities concerned, who then can train them for 15 days or a month on traffic rules.
Carrying fake licences, over five lakh men in the country drive vehicles regularly and the obstacle to obtaining genuine licences for them is that most of them are illiterate and cannot sit for the written test, Ilias continued.
At the meeting, BRTA Chairman Ayubur Rahman Khan told the communications minister that his intervention was needed to bring about necessary changes in the existing rules for issuing driving licences by relaxing the written test.
In reply, Obaidul said he would take steps soon in this regard.
He criticised BRTA officials for the bureaucratic delays in providing service, especially in issuing vehicle fitness certificates.
Regarding traffic jam, Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan at the discussion said the authorities should go tough to stop car parking on roads and evict hawkers from those to ease congestion.
Giving an example, he said the traffic situation in the city’s Motijheel was severe as vehicles remained parked on half of the roads most of the time.
A transport workers’ leader said Viqarunnisa Noon School had a car parking arrangement for 750 vehicles but vehicles parked in front of the school causing traffic jam in adjacent areas.
The situation at other academic institutions in the capital was similar, he added.
On traffic signal operation, Ilias Kanchan said that when the red signal was on, traffic police allowed traffic movement but when the green signal appeared vehicles were stopped, which seemed ridiculous to foreigners visiting the city.
He wondered if the electronic traffic signals were of no use, why did the government install them and was spending money on the system.
Traffic chief Mahbubur Rahman of Dhaka Metropolitan Police said most of the age-old signal lights had gone out of order, thus spoiling their synchronisation.
-With The Daily Star input