KAJANG, July 19 — The Transport Ministry has commissioned an independent review panel to look into the 51 road safety recommendations that were proposed following the deadly Genting Highlands bus crash in 2013.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the Recommendation Review Panel (RRP) has been given three-months to draft an interim report on the implementation progress of the recommendations, which would be accessible to the public.
“The setting up of this RRP was to ensure better and efficient monitoring towards the implementation of the recommendations,” he said at a media briefing at the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), here.
Newly appointed Miros director-general Siti Zaharah Ishak, academic Associate Professor Ahmad Kamil Arshad, Peninsular Malaysia Bus Drivers Association president Saa’dan Man, and Careta.my executive editor Sharim Tamrin were appointed to the nine-member panel.
The RRP is led by Transport Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim as chairman and Miros chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye as co-chairman.
Following the 2013 accident, which claimed 37 lives, Miros launched a detailed investigation and an independent advisory panel was formed to review the inquiry and propose the 51 recommendations.
“It is time for us to act as there is already a complete report on the proposal,” Loke said.
He said to improve the safety of bus operators, the Federal government will also review the need to make the Safety Star Grading (SSG) mandatory, which was implemented in 2013.
Loke said to date, only 20 bus operators have voluntarily participated in the grading programme.
“It is a good programme, but we need to study whether it should be made compulsory, depending on its practicality.
“At the same time, this will give bus operators a sense of competition to improve their safety standards. Commuters will also benefit from the programmes as there would be options available for them,” he said.
The SSG programmes currently accords a star rating based on the level of safety compliance, which is made on a voluntary basis.
This would allow commuters to assess the safety level of the bus operators based on the star rating obtained.