Archive for the ‘Road Safety’ Category

Practise safety, advises man who cycles to work.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

PETALING JAYA: The safety of cyclists depends on their own behaviour while on the road, says a 40-year-old businessman who has been cycling to work every day since 2011.

Wong Hau Young, an avid cyclist since his teenage years in Ipoh, is also one of those who do not wear a helmet, as he finds it unnecessary.

“There are those who are doing it professionally complete with cycling gear and helmet, and there are the children who modify their bicycles to race.

“As for me, I am just a bicycle user. I don’t use a helmet because I don’t find it necessary,” said Wong who cycles to work and to destinations within a 25km radius of his apartment in Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur near here.

Wong traded the comfort of a car for his bicycle six years ago after getting frustrated with the city traffic.

For him, a cyclist must know which roads are too busy and unsafe, and to look for alternative routes.

The PLUS Highway website lists bicycles as a “slow moving vehicle” along with trishaws and tractors, which are not permitted on its highways.

Wong said each month, cyclists in the city gather for a night ride called “Critical Mass” as part of a global movement that aims to raise awareness for cyclists.

From the starting point at Ampang Park, the cyclists will ride together slowly to Dataran Merdeka.

“We will occupy one lane on the road. This movement is to remind other motorists that there are still other people who are not in cars or motorcycles using the road,” he said.

In JOHOR BARU, police have warned the public not to attend any illegal gathering to show support for the mat lajak groups or make degrading remarks that can disrupt investigations on the fatal accident that killed eight teenage cyclists there.

The term mat lajak refers to teenage cyclists who race on modified bicycles without brakes.

Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Sulaiman Salleh said police have identified two persons for calling for an illegal assembly as a sign of solidarity towards the mat lajak while opposing enforcement against them, and for posting insulting remarks about the police.

Sulaiman warned that firm action would be taken against anyone involved in organising or attending the rally.

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Traffic woes haunt KK residents daily

Thursday, December 29th, 2016
The worsening traffic congestion is of great concern to residents, especially those commuting to workplaces. — Bernama photo

The worsening traffic congestion is of great concern to residents, especially those commuting to workplaces. — Bernama photo

KOTA KINABALU: Kota Kinabalu’s traffic has experienced much change over the years and today traffic congestion is a daily nightmare especially for the residents living in the city centre and neigbouring areas.

Spending 45 minutes or even up to two hours to get to work in the city and back is no longer unusual for those living outside the city, except during school holidays.

Radio segments on traffic in Kota Kinabalu and surrounding areas have become indispensible for city dwellers in planning their journey each day.

Looking back, though there were less alternative routes in the past, traffic congestion in the city was still under control.

Today, its different, an abundance of vehicles on the road and inefficient public transportation are just some of the contributing factors of this problem.

The view of the ever-expanding Kota Kinabalu from Signal Hill. — Bernama photo

The view of the ever-expanding Kota Kinabalu from Signal Hill. — Bernama photo

According to residents, the traffic situation in the city and itssurroundings with almost one million people is becoming more critical by the day.

Lecturer Khairunnisa Islami said traffic in the areas of Sepanggar and Tuaran heading towards Kota Kinabalu builds up as early as 5.30 am.

“During school holidays, however, traffic is under control,” she said.

Meanwhile, civil servant Fairuz Saidi spends between 45 minutes to one hour to reach home although her office is only seven kilometres away from a house in Indah Permai, Manggatal.

Charlie Luke from Tamparuli leaves home by 5.00am to skip the congestion and get to his office in Donggongon, Penampang, early.

“Now more people live outside of Kota Kinabalu but work in the city. Despite our growing population, we still don’t have a reliable public transportation system,” he said.

Mohd Ikram Aidi from Papar, said improving intercity public transportation and train facilities could help reduce traveling time.

“This way the people will opt for public transportation, which reduces travel costs compared to using private cars,” added the civil servant who works in Kota Kinabalu.

Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) Traffic and Public Transport Department director Kalvin Liaw said traffic flow and the number of vehicles entering the city today is unlike 16 years ago.

Statistics recorded in 2000 showed only 77,000 vehicles enter and leave the city in a day.

Now, an estimated 140,000 vehicles ply the city’s streets daily based on cumulative calculations especially looking at the fact there has been three to four percent increase in car ownership each year.

The increase in vehicle ownership is the reflection of people’s improving affordability as well as more aggressive car sales marketing and attractive offers.

Furthermore, city residents feel that taking their own car is morecomfortable, faster and more efficient than taking public transportation.

“If people continue to choose to drive, traffic congestion will continue,” he added.

However, integrated cooperation from relevant agencies is needed in resolving traffic woes as not all roads are under the jurisdiction of the DBKK and most main roads are under the Public Works Department, continued Kalvin.

Commenting further, Kalvin said it would be difficult to resolve traffic congestion in a developing city if plans were focused on conventional approaches such as road widening and flyovers.

Kalvin forsees that these mechanisms are not the best answer for the present era, though it can lessen the impact of traffic congestion especially at junctions.

“When population increases, so does the car ownership. To tackle this, we need to look at other approaches and not just conventional methods like road widening and building flyovers.

“These are only short-term solutions. Traffic may be smooth for about a year after the road and flyover is ready, but then congestion will appear again soon after.

“Road widening and flyovers are necessary, but we will come to a point that there is no more room for infrastructure development,” he said.

Therefore, for Kalvin, a balanced and proactive town planning approach is needed as the desire to buy and own personal cars could not be curbed.

The city hall had realised that there is a need for a balanced approach for a conducive traffic flow in Kota Kinabalu, which will also improve the Kota Kinabalu’s image as a first-class city.

To make this happen, emphasis should be given to improving the quality of public transportation services to attract more users.

“Currently, the traveling time of public transportation such as buses is not coordinated and there are also too many bus operators plying the same route.


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Be stern in enforcing heavy vehicle laws, says Johor exco

Monday, December 26th, 2016
The bus crash that killed 14 people near Muar

The bus crash that killed 14 people near Muar

MUAR: The authorities must be stern in enforcing the law against heavy vehicles, especially express buses, to ensure that the tragic bus accident in Pagoh does not recur, said exco member for health and environment Datuk Ayub Rahmat.

He said whenever a crash involving mass casualties took place, several studies would be carried out but the recommendations from the studies were not implemented.

“In Malaysia, we do not do things seriously. When a similar crash happens again, we will again do studies, ” he told reporters here after visiting survivors of Saturday’s bus crash at Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital.

Ayub said the authorities should act more decisively to address the matter so that such a crash would not recur.

“We should be stern and not cave in to threats by certain parties in implementing the law for the sake of public safety.”

He said there was a proposal for the installation of the black boxes on express buses to reduce crashes but it was not implemented.


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Call to step up safety at KKIP roundabout

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: Sepanggar residents on Friday called for safety precautions to be taken following frequent accidents at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park roundabout along Jalan Sepanggar.

The latest incident which took place at the roundabout claimed the life of a 32-year-old Malaysia Airlines Berhad staff last Sunday.

The man was riding home on his motorcycle when he lost control of the superbike which crashed into the side of the roundabout at about 10.30pm.

A resident, Musri Tabin, said accidents have frequently taken place at the roundabout which is prone to mishaps especially during the rainy season when puddles of water would appear on the road surface.

“We hope the relevant authorities would also look into placing more warning signs and putting up more lights in the area,” he said.

He also hoped the sides of the roundabout would be raised, since the current design was too low.

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Transport Ministry: Almost half a million road accidents in 2015

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

PETALING JAYA: There were almost half a million accidents on Malaysian roads in 2015, with close to 7,000 people killed, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

“Malaysia recorded 489,606 road accidents and 6,706 deaths on the road in 2015.

“This was clearly an increase from 2014 and the economic loss incurred was in excess of RM8bil. These alarming statistics continue to be addressed by the Government,” said Liow in a press release on Monday.

He added that the Task Force was briefed on current road safety initiatives including road safety statistics during festive periods.

“An advocacy plan by the Road Safety Department was reviewed, accompanied by a review of the implementation of Malaysia’s Road Safety Plan 2014-2020. The road safety education module was also presented,” said Liow.

Liow, who issued the press release after a meeting of the Cabinet Task Force on Road Safety chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, added that the Automated Awareness Safety System (Awas) and Kejara Demerit Points System would be implemented soon.

Liow said that the execution of the International Road Safety Assessment Programme (Irap) in Malaysia and the implementation of its framework would also be done urgently.

“The meeting unanimously agreed that these are urgent measures that need to be put in place given the fact that road accidents and fatalities continue to escalate in our nation,” said Liow.


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30 pct of 6,706 killed in road crashes last year youngsters.

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

KOTA KINABALU: Thirty per cent of 6,706 people who perished in road accidents throughout the country last year were youngsters, said Road Transport Department (RTD) director-general Datuk Ismail Ahmad.

According to Ismail, out of 6,706 people who were killed in road accidents in the country, about 2,011 were youngsters below 25 years old.

Most of the casualties involved motorcyclists who accounted for about 60 per cent, he said.

“We are taking this matter very seriously as based on the statistics it shows an average of 18 road casualties per day.

“Factors that contributed to road accidents are carelessness of the drivers such as driving over the speed limit, illegal racing, beating the traffic light, changing lane without signalling and talking on the handphone while driving to name a few.

“In an effort to reduce the number of road casualties, numerous approaches have been made to change the perception of road users and to abide by road rules and regulations.

“We also believe that such approaches can be made by targeting the youngsters through education with support from the relevant authorities.

“One of such approaches is by introducing road safety awareness campaign in schools throughout the country,” he said at a press conference at the launching of MyLesen – Road Safety Awareness Campaign (1 Pelajar, 1 Lesen, 1 Jasa) at Kota Kinabalu High School yesterday.

Meanwhile, Ismail said about 14.2 million people had been registered for driver’s licence by the department since 2014.

“But there are still many people, especially youngsters and those leaving in rural areas, who still drive cars or ride motorcycles without a driver’s licence.

“We believe that about 6.7 million people between 16 and 60 represent this group of people without a driver’s licence,” he said, adding that motorcyclists were the most at risk, especially without the driving licence.


Scheduling street races won’t work, says expert

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Thrill seekers: According to Dr Geshina, mat rempit are unlikely to be impressed with the Government’s plan to set up a night track for them as they thrive on obstacles and not empty roads.

Thrill seekers: According to Dr Geshina, mat rempit are unlikely to be impressed with the Government’s plan to set up a night track for them as they thrive on obstacles and not empty roads.

PETALING JAYA: Scheduling street races for mat rempit will not prevent problems such as drug abuse, intoxication and underage or illegal riders, says criminologist and psychologist Dr Geshina Ayu Mat Saat.

The Universiti Sains Malaysia lecturer said illegal betting was also involved in street races, adding that she doubted the effectiveness of the proposal in tackling these vices.

She described mat rempit as “risk takers” who were unlikely to be impressed or thrilled by the Government’s plan to close certain city roads to allow them to race legally.

“They love it when there are obstacles. That’s the thrill they are seeking – not empty roads.”

Dr Geshina said the idea announced by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was not novel, as she had heard of similar moves in the Britain while studying there.

Tengku Adnan said the night track would be modelled after the bi-weekly Car Free mornings in Kuala Lumpur, where several roads in Kuala Lumpur would be closed for a few hours to enable the mat rempit to race unhampered.

Dr Geshina said scheduled races would make roads safer for pedestrians and other road users provided the mat rempit only raced at the designated times and places.

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Strong deterrent needed to reduce road fatalities

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

THE loss of a life caused by human error on the road is already one death too many. But for Malaysia, it is far from enough to cut fatal motor vehicle crashes by a small percentage. We have a more daunting goal – to halve the potential number of deaths in traffic accidents over the next few years.

That is what it takes if we want to have a road safety level that matches our aim of attaining high-income nation status by 2020.

The yardstick is the index of road accident fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles. In developed countries, the index is below 2.0. Malaysia’s figure for 2014 was 2.66. Although a vast improvement over the 3.21 recorded in 2011, we still have some way to go before we can show that road safety matters to us as much as does income per capita.

In fact, there is a link between road accident casualties and our national economy. According to the Transport Ministry, Malaysia suffered a loss of nearly RM9bil in 2011 because of the 6,877 road traffic deaths that year. It has been estimated that we lose an equivalent of 1.5% of our GDP owing to road traffic crashes.

In November 2014, the Government launched its Road Safety Plan 2014–2020 with the objective of raising road safety in Malaysia to be on par with that of developed countries.

In a business-as-usual scenario, if there is no intervention to significantly improve things, the number of traffic deaths in Malaysia is projected to reach 10,716 in 2020. The plan’s target is to reduce that by half.

The plan’s success depends on five strategic pillars: road safety management, safer mobi­lity and roads, safer vehicles, safer road users, and post-accident management. In other words, there needs to be a holistic and multi-pronged approach.

The police favours increasing fines for traffic offences. Their argument is that stiffer fines can deter road users from violating traffic rules and change how they drive. On Monday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said he would officially propose this measure to the Government soon. He had previously described the maximum compound of RM300 for traffic offences as peanuts.

The idea of punishing traffic offenders with heavier fines requires a thorough examination, particularly as to how it is enforced. Affordability cannot be the sole factor.

Is this the most effective way to develop safer road users? Will it indeed alter the attitudes of Malaysians when they get behind the wheel? Or will it merely push more people into offering bribes to escape being penalised for what they perceive as a minor wrong­doing?

The Star Says.

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Wednesday, January 20th, 2016


DEADLY SECTION…The scene of the road tragedy which claimed the lives of an elderly couple

TUARAN: Local folks are calling for the improvement of the junction leading to the Tuaran Hospital that has been described as a ‘notorious killer section’ after an elderly couple was killed early yesterday.

The residents largely called for better safety measures to be put up including a traffic light system before more lives are lost.

In the latest mishap, Proton Saga BLM driver Jusit Teo, 66, and his wife, Tainis Intigan, 58, both from Kg Panjut, Tuaran were killed after their vehicle was rammed by a Nissan Navara heading toward Tuaran, as Jusit was making a turn into the hospital, said Tuaran OCPD DSPAbdul Fuad Abdul Malik.

The impact caused the Navara to lose control and veered into the opposite side of the road, before hitting a Perodua Viva which was heading to the city.

Tuaran hospital director Dr. G Mohan hoped the authorities would speed up the process of fixing a traffic light at the location.

He said it was not the first deadly mishap as last month, a mother and her week-old newborn were killed by two vehicles.

“There is an urgent need for traffic light system to be introduced to ensure the safety of the public,” he said via a group Whatsapp chat yesterday.

A civil servant, Mohd Jasle Dingle said a traffic light system in front of the hospital would make sense as it would reduce road mishaps in the area.

Some of the residents said road humps would also help to reduce the speed of traffic along the busy intersection.

Another resident, Felix Jaya said there is heavy traffic coming down from the city and that vehicles would not stop unless there is a traffic light system.

For those going to the hospital, they would be unable to wait and may take chances to cross, he pointed out.

“It can be a long wait for the traffic to clear up before motorists can cross,” he said of his experience.


20,257 road accidents, 155 deaths recorded since start of Ops Selamat

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 20,257 road accidents and 155 fatalities have been recorded nationwide over the last seven days, since Ops Selamat 7/2015 was launched last Friday.

Bukit Aman traffic chief Datuk Mohd Fuad Abdul Latiff (pic) said that of the total number of fatalities, motorcyclists and pillion riders made up the largest number with 94 cases.

Of the 155 deaths, 97 had occurred on federal and state roads, he said.

The average rate of deaths is 22 persons daily compared to 13 during the same period last year.

He said police will investigate every case involving fatalities to identify the cause of the accident.

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