Reducing road fatalities

1 Aug 2014
MALAYSIA aims to reduce the number of road accident deaths from the current index of 12.19 per one billion Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT) to 10 by 2020. The index stood at 21.1 in 2004.
VKT is the total in kilometres travelled by motor vehicles on any particular road system during a given period of time, and it is used as an indicator to measure road safety performance in a particular country.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said that over the past 10 years, the number of accidents and deaths on the road had seen a steady decline.
“In 2004, the death index for every 10,000 registered vehicles in Malaysia was 4.51 deaths. In 2013, this has fallen to 2.90 deaths.
“We hope to lower the index further, to two deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles by the year 2020,” he added.
Abdul Aziz was speaking at the launch of a nationwide road safety campaign in Precinct 3, Putrajaya.
With the tagline Nyawa Dihargai, Keluarga Menanti, Selamat ke Destinasi (Value Life, Family Awaits, Arrive at Destination Safely), the campaign is a joint effort by various government agencies as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and corporations.
They include the Road Safety Department (JKJR), Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, Road Transport Department (JPJ), Transport Ministry, Putrajaya Corporation (PPj), Automobile Association of Malaysia, Goodyear as well as the National Fire Department and Putrajaya district police headquarters.
Some of the activities lined up are awareness campaigns and traffic management.
The Transport Ministry will be working with JKJR on a nationwide media campaign, in collaboration with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
Other operations include Ops Selamat by the police, which kicked off on Monday and will continue until Aug 4.
In the same period, JPJ will be running Ops Bersepadu, focusing on conducting urine tests among bus drivers at 30 bus terminals nationwide.
JPJ officers will also be going undercover as passengers and conducting spot checks.
Three hundred Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) enforcement officers will be on the lookout for touts and conduct checks on use of meters by taxis in major cities.
JKJR director-general Datuk Dr Tam Weng Wah said road safety was an issue involving not only the government but also private companies and the public.
He called for drivers to behave responsibly on the road.
“Accidents happen partly because of some drivers who act emotionally,” said Tam.
He advised road users to be careful and follow the rules.
“Be a smart and responsible driver.
“Plan ahead for your journey because when you are in a rush, you tend to behave rashly,” he said.
The total deaths from road accidents from January to April 2014 were 2,172, compared to 2,286 during the same period last year.
Symbolic gesture: Abdul Aziz (right) and PPj president Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat (second from left) helping to put safety equipment on participants at the campaign launch. - Photo by MOHD SAHAR MISNI

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