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'Do not compare accident rates in Malaysia with other countries'
Port Klang: The high rate of accidents in the country should not be compared with the rates in other countries, said the Minister of Transport Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha.
He said each year, more than 1.3 million motorists throughout the world died from road accidents.
"In countries like China and India, more than 100,000 people die each year on the roads while in the United States and Indonesia, more than 33,000 people are killed yearly in road accidents.
"So, accidents are not limited to our country only. Even though there are parties who say the country has the highest road accident rate, accidents can occur anywhere," he told a media conference after launching a road safety campaign at Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Pandamaran A, here today.
Kong said in 2011, a total of 6,877 motorists in the country died in road accidents and of the number, more than 60 per cent were motorcyclists and pillion riders.
"In any country, motorcyclists are the largest contributors of road accidents. In France, only two per cent of the vehicles were motorcycles yet they contributed 30 per cent of the road accident fatalities in that country.
"In our country, about 40 per cent of the road users are motorcyclists and it contributed about 60 per cent of the road accident deaths in our country," he said.
Therefore, Kong said, support from all parties was needed to assist the government in reducing the rate of road accidents in the country, especially those involving motorcyclists.
He said the government had held various road safety campaigns including organising road safety education in primary schools for several years.
"This year, the same programme will start at secondary schools and it has helped create awareness among the school children," he said. -- Bernama