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Policy Win

July 9, 2024

Driving Progress: Bangladesh Road Transport Authority Issues Speed Limit Guideline 2024 

On May 7 of this year, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) issued the Speed Limit Guideline 2024, the first of its kind in Bangladesh. The guideline sets a national maximum speed limit of 80 km/h for both national highways and expressways, addressing a critical gap in previous regulations. Prior to this, Bangladesh lacked a comprehensive framework to regulate vehicle speeds on urban roads and highways nationwide. Bangladesh now leads Asia as the first country to align its speed limit guidelines with World Health Organization (WHO) standards, aiming to improve road safety across the nation.   

The Minister of Road Transport and the coalition celebrate the Bangladesh Speed Management Guideline 2024.

According to the recent WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, Bangladesh recorded over 31,500 road crash deaths in 2021, with a fatality rate of 19.0 per 100,000 population—an increase from 15.3 in 2016. Excessive speed remains a significant contributor to road crashes, highlighting the need to address this critical issue. 

The guideline has two distinctive characteristics: 

  • Authorizes local authorities to set maximum speed limits in specific areas (such as markets, school zones, etc.) below the speed limit set for the respective roads by the guideline.  
  • Establishes maximum speed limits of 40 km/h for urban primary roads and 30 km/h for urban areas.   

These measures represent significant advancements in speed management within Bangladesh and set a precedent for broader road safety initiatives that will save lives on the roads. The Road Safety Coalition Bangladesh, alongside the Global Road Safety Partnership, and Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) assisted the government in drafting the speed limit guidelines. The government's proactive and timely efforts to improve road safety have garnered praise from the community.  

In 2020, GHAI helped to develop the Road Safety Coalition Bangladesh, which has been instrumental in advancing effective road safety policies. To pave the way for this milestone, in the summer of 2023, GHAI in partnership with GRSP and the coalition, organized strategic planning workshops focused on identifying SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound) road safety advocacy objectives and explored opportunities to effectively collaborate with BRTA. Ensuring that BRTA issued speed limit guidelines that would reduce road traffic crashes and save lives was a priority. BRTA formed a speed limit drafting committee which included a diverse set of stakeholders, including two coalition organizations: Accident Research Institute and Nirapod Sarak Chai. The coalition liaised with BRTA and Road Transport and Highways Division to draft the speed guideline and for the enactment of comprehensive road safety laws. GHAI and the coalition also facilitated road safety discussions, one-on-one meetings with decision-makers, organized media events and launched social media campaigns, to gain support for the guidelines. Through these comprehensive advocacy efforts, BRTA developed and successfully introduced the Speed Guideline 2024.  

In support of advancing road safety policies in Bangladesh, Secretary, Mr. Md. Nuri stated “The government has notified the speed limit guidelines for strengthening road safety. By doing this we intend to reduce the number of road crashes and save countless lives lost on the roads each year.”   

As an immediate next step, the coalition will collaborate with BRTA to develop a speed limit guideline manual to guide local authorities with setting local speed limits and to support the appropriate government departments and officials with effective implementation. The speed limit guideline is a living document that allows further expansion as the road infrastructure improves in Bangladesh.  


Coalition members at a GHAI-led SMART facilitation workshop on July 19-20, 2023, strategized on the development of the speed limit guidelines in Bangladesh. 
The Motor Vehicle Speed Limit Guideline Committee members gathered at the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority office on July 31, 2023.