Need to enhance road safety awareness — Sin Chew Daily

JULY 28 — JPJ is planning to expand the scope of directly charging traffic offenders who jump red light and use a handphone while driving. This measure is meant to reduce the persistently high incidence of traffic offenses and accident rate in this country.

Besides driving on emergency lanes, JPJ is also studying the possibility of charging violators using handphones while driving, jumping red light, not fastening seat belt, crossing solid double line and speeding on fast lane.

Charging traffic offenders in court should be an effective measure to discourage potential violators, as the violator could be fined up to RM2,000 or jailed up to six months, or both, if found guilty of the charge.

Statistics show that the incidence of traffic offenses has been significantly reduced during this year’s Raya Ops Selamat, after the authorities began prosecuting motorists abusing the emergency lane. This shows that the measure has indeed produced the desired effects.

Malaysia has been chronically plagued by some of the world’s highest accident rates. For so many years the government has been looking for ways to effectively bring down the accident rate with little success.

There were a total of 521,466 road accident cases reported in the country throughout 2016, with as many as 7,152 people killed on the road. These numbers highlight the severity of traffic incidents in the country.

Road accidents not only take away precious human lives but will also cause massive economic losses. It is estimated that road accident caused a whopping RM9.2 billion in economic losses last year alone.

Studies show that some 80per cent of road accidents are due to avoidable human factors, and as such we need to tackle from this angle in order to bring down accident rate.

Even though the government has enforced many traffic rules and regulations, many still choose to ignore them and drive whichever way they like on public roads.

This kind of irresponsible attitude not only endangers the lives of the drivers themselves but will also pose serous threats to the safety of other motorists.

Using a handphone while driving will significantly increase the chances of road accidents, but many seem to overlook this risk.

Road accidents can be minimised if road users adhere to the traffic rules and regulations. Unfortunately many people do not have such awareness. If the authorities directly charge these people in court, it is believed that the measure will effectively stop people from committing the same offenses again.

However, the authorities must conduct in-depth feasibility study of this measure before putting it into implementation.

In the meantime, the government must also educate the public of the need to abide by the highway code so as to create a safe and pleasant motoring environment for all. — Sin Chew Daily

* This article was first published here.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.