CAP welcome the steps taken by the Ministry of Transport towards the seven traffic offences that will be non-compoundable throughout this Chinese New Year festive season. That means that those caught flouting them will not be offered a fine but will be referred to the courts instead. Such measures should not be restricted to only festival time but apply throughout the year.
The seven major traffic offences are cutting queues, overtaking on double lines, disobeying the red light signal, driving over the speed limit, use of mobile phones while driving, not wearing a seat belt or helmet, and driving in the emergency lane.
We hope the implementation would serve as an effective deterrent to traffic violations in the country reducing the number of accidents and fatalities.
Statistics released by the police have revealed that a total of 402,626 road accidents were recorded in Malaysia from January to September in the year 2022, resulting in 4,379 fatalities. This is a jump from the 255,532 road accidents from the same period in 2021, in which 3,324 deaths were recorded.
The numbers for the first nine months of the 2022 year represent a 58% increase (or 147,094) in accident cases over that in 2021, while the death toll increased by nearly 32% (or 1,055 fatalities). There was no breakdown of the statistics by state and the vehicles involved in the data, which was furnished in a statement by the road transport department (JPJ).
The high fatality rate of road users in the country is very disturbing and makes it imperative for the Government to act swiftly and without any compromise.
The Government should immediately set up a Royal Commission of Enquiry to investigate the actual reasons for the escalating number of road accidents and deaths on Malaysian roads daily.
Many factors have been identified as possible causes for this sad scenario, the most common being the “human factor”, reckless driving being one example. The poor quality of our roads is also another contributing factor.
The Royal Commission of Inquiry which CAP is calling for should also look into ways the Government could improve the present public transport system which is in an atrocious state.
Mohideen Abdul Kader
Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)
Press Statement, 20 January 2023