The Bangladeshi cabinet was forced to toughen sentences for those convicted of dangerous driving after mass protests by students overwhelmed the capital for the ninth day.
Riot police have attempted to quash the protests with rubber bullets and tear gas being fired into the crowds.
The protests were sparked by the killing of two teenagers in Dhaka by a bus travelling above the speed limit.
“As per the proposed law, an accused has to face five years of jail for negligent driving,” the country's Law Minister Anisul Huq was quoted by Reuters as saying after the cabinet meeting, chaired by the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina.
"The deliberate running over of people will draw murder charges and carry the death sentence," he added.