While local transport workers on Sunday launched a sporadic protest against the new road transport act, top leaders of road transport owners and workers extended their support for the law.
On Monday, road transport owners and workers associations in 10 districts, including Chattogram, Khulna and Jashore, called a strike, protesting the enforcement of the law.
Shajahan Khan, executive president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers' Federation, told The Business Standard that some workers' leaders took to the streets as they did not have a clear idea about the law.
"I believe that this situation will get right in a day or two. We have told them to refrain from doing such protests," said Shajahan Khan.
Shajahan Khan told The Business Standard that it would take some time for transport workers to understand the law. He said the new law has many positives for workers too.
"We have already decided to hold a meeting of the federation on November 21 and 22 in Dhaka to discuss the issues in detail," he added.
Shajahan noted that the main concern of the workers was that the law spelled out some non-bailable offences. The government should have made the section bailable, considering that the country has a shortage of professional drivers, he added.
"I have already talked to Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Kader in this regard. He also believes that some parts of the law should be amended. But it will take some time for the amendment," Shajahan Khan.
In Jashore, transport workers demanded an amendment to the law while workers in Chattogram demanded that the law be scrapped.
Khandakar Enayetullah, secretary general of Bangladesh Road Transport Owners' Association, told The Business Standard that the workers were not calling for strikes.
"Basically, they have blocked some roads in protest against the newly-enacted law. We are trying to open the roads. Their protests are sporadic," he said.
He said another main objection of workers is regarding the section 105 of the act. The section has the provision of five-year jail term and Tk5 lakh in fine if a driver is found guilty of killing someone by driving recklessly or for a driver's negligence.
"We are trying to solve the crisis. Workers should not protest the law as they held discussions with the ministry officials before the draft of the law. Some changes were made with their recommendations too," Khandakar added.
He said the grassroots-level workers were involved in blocking roads and launching protests. Local administrations were working on solving the problem by discussing with the workers' leaders.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader urged transport owners and workers on Monday to refrain from calling strikes.
"I request all to follow the new transport rules and to stay away from calling transport strikes," the minister said while briefing reporters at his secretariat office.
A gazette notification was issued on Sunday on completion of the legal process on operating the mobile courts.
Meanwhile, in Dhaka, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) launched the operation of mobile courts to enforce the new road transport law yesterday.
The Road Transport Act, which had been enacted more than a year ago, was supposed to come into effect on November 1.