Road Transport (Amendment) Act, 2024: Anarchy to rule roads: TIB


Staff Reporter :
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has emphasised that the exclusion of public interest considerations in the proposed amendment in the draft of Road Transport (Amendment) Act, 2024 will steer away the law from its main objectives.

This will result in further weakening and exacerbating the hostage situation regarding road management by owners and workers.

The amendments proposed in the draft Road Transport (Amendment) Act, 2024 is self-destructive and will increase anarchy on the roads, the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said on Thursday
TIB further emphasised that, despite the hopeful beginnings marked by the Road Transport Act 2018, which emerged in response to fervent protests by young students, its effective implementation remains a distant reality.

The organisation asserted that the exclusion of public interest in the proposed amendment will guide the law away from its core objectives, weaken it further, and ultimately intensify the hostage situation regarding road management by owners and workers instead of giving relief.

TIB said that, as per recent media reports, the cabinet has given its approval in principle to the draft of the Road Transport (Amendment) Act, 2024, which includes amendments to at least 12 sections resulting in a reduction in punishments and penalties for drivers and helpers.

Media reports mentioned that penalties and punishments have been reduced in sections 69, 70, 81, 85, 86, 90, 98, and 105 of the proposed amendment.

However, the draft Road Transport Act 2024 includes provisions such as compulsory vehicle insurance [Section 60(2)], assigning supervisors (Section 71), and displaying a fare chart with penalties for demanding or collecting extra fares (Section 80).

TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman has cautiously praised these three specific amendments, as they are in line with TIB’s research-based recommendations.

He said, “While it was crucial to logically increase punishments and penalties to establish order in the road transport system and ensure citizens’ safety, any decrease in penalties through the amendment will worsen chaos on the roads and pose a greater risk to the public.”


He said, “It will promote a tendency to break laws among drivers and workers, leading to further disorder on the roads.

Despite the government’s apparent initiatives to improve road safety, the proposed amendment seems to go against these efforts.”

“On one hand, it risks increasing irregularities, corruption, and street disorder, and on the other hand, it will further raise the number of tragic deaths,” he said.

TIB’s recent study underscored the gravity of the hostage situation imposed by a faction of transport owners and workers in the road transport system.

Dr. Iftekharuzzaman remarked on this issue, saying, “The move to reduce punishments and penalties through amending the law is apparently intertwined with the hostage situation.

It is clear that politically-backed owners’ and workers’ associations wield influence over the government to push for amendments that lessen penalties.”

“If these amendments are approved in parliament, it will disregard the public interests. We implore the government to veer away from this self-destructive course,” he said.

The TIB ED also voiced deep concerns over the lack of transparency in the draft amendment process, as none of the proposed steps were made publicly accessible for the relevant stakeholders.

TIB strongly advocates the inclusion of opinions from experts and other stakeholders before finalising the Act.