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CAUSE FOR CONCERN: Half of 25,000 crashes involve those aged 35 and below
BANGI: MORE than half of the 25,000 road accidents that happened while commuting to work last year involved victims in the 35 years and below age group.
This worrying pattern has prompted the to Human Resources Ministry to come up with a safety campaign to raise awareness and reduce the number of incidents.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said that of the 59,897 accidents reported last year to the Social Security Organisation (Socso), 24,809 involved those who commuted to work daily. Most of them rode motorcycles to work.
He said the figures showed a 13 per cent increase from 2010 when 22,036 of the 57,639 cases were commuting accidents.
Dr Subramaniam said a Socso study revealed that 53 per cent of the victims were aged 35 and below, which meant Malaysia was losing workers
who were in their prime.
Another study, conducted jointly by Socso and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), showed that 52 per cent of accidents occurred on the way to work, and 36 per cent on the return journey.
"About 78 per cent were men from the service industry and factory workers, who commuted using motorcycles.
"About 55 per cent of the accidents occurred within 5km of the workplace," Dr Subramaniam said after launching the National Safe Commuting to Work 2012 campaign at Universiti Tenaga Nasional yesterday.
He said besides the nation losing young workers, the government also had to fork out compensation to families of the victims.
In 2010, Socso contributed RM630 million, and last year, RM660 million.
During the campaign, themed Partnership in Road Accidents Prevention for Employees at Risk (Proper), which will be on for a month until May 24, video footage of accident-prone areas in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Penang, Johor Baru and Ipoh will be distributed.
The videos will feature comedian Mohd Saifulazam Mohamed Yusoff, 42, better known as Saiful Apek.
Other activities will include techniques on safe motorcycle riding and defensive driving, and safety and awareness programmes.
Dr Subramaniam said his ministry would work with the Department of Safety and Health, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research during the campaign.