Truckers today placed a nine-point demand including an amendment to the Road Transport Act 2018 and announced to halt transportation of all commodities indefinitely across the country from 6am Wednesday.
The announcement came at a press conference of Bangladesh Truck Covered-Van Owners Workers Oikya Parishad in the capital's Tejgaon area.
Makbul Ahmed, joint convener of the parishad, told the Business Standard that the government did not hold any discussion with truck owners' associations before drafting the new law.
"They only held talks with bus owners and workers associations," he said, adding, the strike will continue till the government amends the new law.
"We will enforce the strike to press home our 9-point demand including amendments to the new transport law," he said.
The association expressed concern over the newly enforced Road Traffic Act 2018 and termed it as a blueprint of destruction of the industry. They said Tk25000 fine for driving without a license is irrational.
"Many truck drivers will not be able to pay the sum even with their two months salary," Makbul Ahmed added.
He also said that getting fitness clearance for vehicles is a complicated and time-consuming process, hence the fine of Tk25000 imposed on unfit vehicles is also a pressure on the truck drivers.
In the nine-point demand, the association said authorities should refrain from filing cases against unfit vehicles for the first 15 days after the expiry of the fitness document.
"The fine on unfit vehicles should now be Tk4000, which under the previous law was Tk2000," he also said.
They also urged the government to amend the law and lower the fines imposed on route permits and tax tokens.
Meanwhile, truck owners have called an indefinite strike from Wednesday morning at Chattogram port as a part of the protest against the new Road Transport Act 2018.
Abdul Mannan, general secretary of Chattogram Port Truck-Covered Van Owners' Association confirmed the matter to The Business Standard.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) on Monday enforced the Road Transport Act 2018, 10 months after it was enacted.
On the first day of enforcement, 10 mobile courts in Dhaka have filed 88 cases with fines to the tune Tk 1, 21,900 for violations of law.