Road Transport Act 2018 in Bangladesh: a critique of the transport workers’ liability for driving offences occasioning deaths in light of their equivalents in NSW-Australia

Publication Name

Crime Prevention and Community Safety


Road safety laws play a vital role in the system of enhancing road safety outcomes. Ineffective and outdated laws do not provide the essential foundation needed for generating and maintaining positive community attitudes towards road safety. The Road Transport Act 2018 of Bangladesh (RTA2018) took almost a decade in the making, owing to strong resistance by transport companies. The RTA2018 aims to improve road safety by primarily punishing the offenders. This article finds that the provisions of the RTA2018 concerning the liability for deaths are flawed in many respects having implications for their enforcement and achievement of the legislation’s professed objective. This is illustrated recently in serious public unrest triggered by the deaths of two students, which led to students taking to the street to protest (Jawad in Road deaths and protests: a cycle doomed to repeat itself, 2021). The current complexities created by overlapping and effectively redundant critical new provisions mean that justice cannot be delivered under the RTA2018. This article demonstrates how the laws in Bangladesh regarding transport workers’ liabilities could be streamlined following the Australian (NSW) model. Specific recommendations are furnished to address flaws in the RTA2018. This detailed analysis of laws may also be used by other countries with poor road safety records to improve their laws.

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