KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — The Transportation Ministry is set to roll out a communication plan to educate the public on the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, said Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong
The transport minister said this will be done by convening a taskforce with the Attorney General’s Chamber, the Home Affairs Ministry, as well as non-governmental stakeholders including the the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)
“Education must be the cornerstone of lasting policy change to reduce tragedies caused by those driving under the influence,” Wee said in a Facebook post.
He said it is not just about enforcement with better techniques and procedures, but rather the whole ecosystem such as penalties, awareness, and alternatives to driving oneself when drunk, which must work in tandem.
“While the ministry will finalise the proposed amendments for more severe penalties in the Road Transport Act 1987, to be tabled in the Cabinet in June, it is also crucial for the long term to spread greater awareness to discourage drunk driving,” Wee said in a Facebook post.
The minister had earlier participated in a video conference on drunk driving with CILT’s president Ramli Amir, deputy president Abdul Kuddus Ramlee, and secretary-general Mohd Nasir Alias, thanking them for their views on the subject.
“I also said that the issue of driving under the influence is not only limited to those who use private vehicles. The same enforcement must also be brought against errant drivers of commercial and public transport vehicles like lorries and buses who drive under the influence.
“I also met with former Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research director-general Prof Wong Shaw Voon, who’s now teaching at Universiti Putra Malaysia. He provided more insights from his research on driving under the influence (DUI) under the effects of drugs and alcohol,” he said.
Wee added that the knowledge from top scholars and researchers like Wong will give the ministry more reference points with which to find lasting solutions to the problems of DUI.
“We have to start somewhere. Even seatbelts and helmets took time to be fully adopted by the public when they were first introduced decades ago,” he said.