KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 ― In a bid to reduce road accidents and deaths, the Transport Ministry is making it mandatory for all new cars to have Electronic Stability Control (ESC) starting June 1, 2018.
Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai reportedly said studies showed that the anti-skid technology could prevent about 40 per cent of deaths and collisions from crashes due to loss of control.
"It is the most cost-effective life-saving device at present, with positive results from mandating ESC in many countries, including the whole of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Turkey, Australia and more," he was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper.
With the announcement, Liow reportedly said that Malaysia will be the first Asean country to mandate ESC.
Liow said there were a total of 489,606 road accidents with 6,706 deaths in 2015, and added that the death toll had increased from 6,674 in 2014.
"Frontal collision and loss of control are the main causes of accidents and deaths.
"According to police data in 2015, these types of collision contributed to 45.39 per cent of fatal accidents," he was quoted as saying.
The ESC helps drivers to maintain control of their vehicles in extreme steering manoeuvres by keeping the vehicle at the direction intended by the driver.
Liow claimed that car manufacturers would absorb the costs of installing the system, adding that there will not be a sudden increase in car prices following the mandate.
He also said that the government was looking into the implementation of the eCall system by January 2019.
Through the system, he said, a distress call would be made to the emergency services with all accident details to bring quick assistance to motorists involved in a collision anywhere in the country.
The eCall, a European initiative, will be made mandatory in all new cars sold within the European Union from April 2018.