Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 6, 2018 -- The Road Transport and Highways Division is making it mandatory to display the national emergency helpline number inside public transport, in a bid to curb a rising trend of sexual harassment and other forms of assault against passengers.
The division has already issued a directive for displaying the 999 number in all public buses across the country.
The secretary of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), Mohammad Shawkat Ali, told the Dhaka Tribune that they had been informed of the plan verbally by the Road Transport and Highways Division.
"The initiative will aid people in getting emergency response from the police faster," he said.
"We will call a meeting with the authorities concerned to execute the order (and) are planning to send a letter to all district-level offices across the country for installing national helpline numbers in visible places of transports."
Through the number, passengers can seek support from the police not only for sexual harassment issues, but also for assault or professional misconduct by the transport staff.
"The plan to install the emergency helpline number in public buses will help curb sexual harassment, and allow passengers to get support during any incidents," said Mozammel Haque, secretary general of Passengers’ Welfare Association.
The 999 national emergency number was launched on December 12, 2017 and also allows citizens to call for emergency fire and ambulance services.
Bangladesh Police operates the helpline, which is available around the clock.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Monday, July 9, 2018
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