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Significant drop in Sabah road mishaps, fatalities

Published on: Friday, May 23, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Accidents and road fatalities in Sabah this year in comparison to last year have shown a significant decrease thanks to road safety efforts by the government together with the corporate sector, among others.

There were 97 road fatalities in Sabah between January and March this year where 22 of these occurred in Kota Kinabalu, said Director-General of Road Safety Department (JKJR), Dato Dr Tam Weng Wah on Thursday.

In the same period, this year, there were 30 fatal accidents involving motorcycle riders and pillion riders, he said.

And based on the Sabah Accident Index (according to categories) for 2012 and last year, there were 4.38 fatal accidents in 2012 for every 10,000 registered vehicles while last year, 4.20.

In 2012, he said, the index showed 13.17 fatalities occurred in each 100,000 population while last year, 12.27.

For each 100km State and Federal-maintained roads in Sabah, he said, the index recorded 4.5 fatalities in 2012 while last year, 4.35.

"So, it can be deduced that based on the Sabah Accident Index, accident fatalities in Sabah in all three categories have decreased," he said at the Primary School Road Safety Advocacy Campaign at SK St Agnes in Likas.

The event was organised by Allianz General Insurance Company with cooperation from the JKJR.

Dr Tam said the JKJR has carried out various initiatives to enhance road safety awareness among the public.

"Among the initiative is the Masja or lodging a complaint before it becomes a complaint where JKJR staff monitor the conditions of the road and that if there were potholes, damaged traffic lights or dangerous debris on road surfaces, the matter is reported to the State JKJR," he said.

He said the department is also monitoring the motorcycle lanes (only available in the peninsula) to ensure that it is safe for the motorcyclists.

This is because motorcycle riders and pillion riders were the most exposed to road accident risk, he said.

Apart from that, the JKJR also monitors eight newspapers everyday for any issues that are related to road safety and report the issues to the State JKJR for further action together with the local authorities.

"Even though most of the issues are not under the department's jurisdiction, we take the initiative and responsibility to care for the roads so that road users can drive safely and be comfortable," he said.

Community-based programmes is also one of the department's programmes that focused on the local community awareness on road safety as well as to inculcate positive changes among road users.

They would cooperate with the respective local communities on road safety programmes and to improve the safety of the roads.

However, Dr Tam said that without the support from the schools, good road safety programmes could not be achieved.

"I believe that schools are the most suitable premises to form road safety ethics among students (and pupils)," he said.

He said that the school role in road safety is very important and therefore must be given attention.

Parents too, he said, ought to show good examples to their children.

Meanwhile, in line with that role, the Allianz-organised road safety programme will be focused on schools throughout the country.

Allianz Malaysia also launched its Road Safety Tips Booklet at SK St Agnes that provides handy tips on road safety for children aged four to 12.

CEO of Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad, Zakri Khir said to date the company has conducted 90 Road Safety Advocacy Campaigns nationwide. The company has held the campaigns with JKJR since July 2011.

Also present was St Agnes Headmistress, Kuilim Minin.