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852 Emerging safety challenges of motorcycles on Bangladesh roads
  1. Md Mazharul Hoque1,
  2. SM Rahat Rashedi2,
  3. Md. Messel Chowdhury2,
  4. AKM Fazlur Rahman3
  1. 1Dean, Faculty of Civil Engineering, and Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh
  2. 2Department of Civil Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh
  3. 3Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB), Bangladesh


Background Motorcycles are becoming an increasingly popular mode of travel in Bangladesh. There are around 1.3 million registered motorcycles in Bangladesh, representing nearly 55% of total registered motor vehicles. Motorcycles are increasing at an astonishing rate, around 95% during 2009–2015 with fleet growing at a faster rate than other vehicles. Motorcycle crashes are a growing problem resulting from massive increase of motorcycles.

Methods To assess the risk factors of motorised two wheelers in Bangladesh, police reported crash data were analysed and International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) methodologies were applied in assessing road environment hazards associated with motorcyclists together with field observation of motorcycle travel behaviour.

Results Motorcycle crashes are claiming over 200 deaths annually and nearly 70% occurred in rural areas, mostly attributable to effects of speeding. Predominant crash types are head-on, hit-pedestrian and rear-end, which together account for nearly 86%. Recent iRAP assessment revealed that national highways are mostly 2-star or less for motorcyclists indicating a relatively high level of risks of deaths and injuries. Major risk factors are mostly related to road infrastructure and environmental deficiencies and unsatisfactory driver behaviour and law enforcement.

Conclusions Sustained and accelerated reduction in road fatalities involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists is clearly a priority, particularly for achieving the target of 50% reduction of deaths by 2020 in Bangladesh. Road fatalities involving motorcycles are unacceptably high. Addressing the safety of motorcycles and the riders is therefore an enormous challenge to transport engineering professionals. It is urgent to conduct in depth research and to develop pragmatic strategies and actions with particular emphasis for wider application of road engineering and environment measures for preventing motorcycle crashes and injuries.

  • Bangladesh
  • crash types
  • motorcycle crashes
  • motorcyclist safety
  • iRAP

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