#WeWantJustice – Deadly Road Conditions Drive Student Movement


From CNN.

Janet Song, Editor-in-Chief

Students in Dhaka, Bangladesh are leading a widespread movement demanding safer roads, four weeks after a speeding bus killed two teenagers on July 29th.

The outrage from these students stems from an ongoing problem in Bangladesh, where a number of factors are responsible for the country’s deadly road conditions, including poor traffic enforcement from police and informal training within public transportation, where most drivers are unlicensed and vehicles are often unregistered. According to a 2015 report from the World Health Organization (WHO), Bangladesh receives up to 25,000 road-related deaths per year, even though the Bangladesh government suggests differently.

In these protests, students emphasize that their protests are “not a political movement”, but rather, a non-partisan movement for better public services and policies in Bangladesh, as shown in their nine demands focusing on specific policy changes, such as harsher punishments for reckless driving and setting up speed breakers near roads.

But while students have been protesting peacefully, police and government officials have responded violently, firing tear gas and rubber bullets, striking batons, and even raping student protesters. Additionally, the government has shut down social media networks and tortured journalists covering the protests.

According to TIME Magazine, in response to the protests, the government has promised to enforce better traffic regulations and stricter driver penalties. Whether or not the government will live to that promise remains questionable.