The latest events following the enforcement of the new transport law look like a repeat show with outcome foretold.
The government had to bow down to the truckers who went on strike and failed to enforce the law. Rather it gave a long line of relief to them.
This only shows what happens when a law is made with unrealistically harsh punishment provisions. And it once again reveals that the problem with disciplining our road transport lies not with an adequacy of law or its lack of harshness.
It is the lack of enforcement of the law that creates the anarchy on the road.
You don't need to raise the fine to Tk100,000 for overloading or Tk10,000 for going on the wrong side of the road. If each and every vehicle, irrespective of whether it belongs to a VIP or not, taking the wrong turn is caught and fined, even at the previous low rates, the drivers would be corrected.
After all, no one wants hassles in life.
But that is not the case in Bangladesh where enforcement is so weak.
And so a suddenly raised penalty naturally attracted harsh reaction.
This is not the first time the government succumbed to pressure to bring discipline in the transport sector.
In March 2017, the cabinet approved the proposal for making transport law. But it shelved the proposal for a year in the face of opposition by the transport workers.
A year after the government hurriedly made the law with stringent punitive measures in the face of stormy protest by school students who took to the streets following the death of two students in a road accident.
But weeks after passage of the law, truck owners and drivers enforced "work abstention" programme in October, dealing a severe blow to business and affecting the supply chain of goods to the capital.
In the face of the protest, the roads and bridges ministry shelved the plan to enforce the law for more than a year to pacify truckers.
There are more records demonstrating truckers' strength to mount pressure on the government to realise their demand.
One thing is clear that they are really powerful because of their political affiliation.
As we said before, the absence of the law is not a problem in transport sector but the lack of its enforcement.
The old law which was replaced by the new transport law in 2018 was never properly enforced. The previous law had many good provisions. It had outlined in clear terms how registration and fitness certificates of vehicles would be issued, who would get driving licence and who would be authorised to be "conductors" of public transports.
But nothing was enforced.
And now the government has once again lost its face when it bowed down to the workers.