Drastic action needed to reduce traffic accidents, say NGOs

KUALA LUMPUR: Drastic action is needed to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities, say two non-governmental organisations.

Such action is necessary to achieve the target set under the National Road Safety Plan 2022-2030 (MRSP 2022-2030).

The call by Alliance of Safety Community (Ikatan) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye and Selangor Road Safety Council permanent member Tengku Ahmad Marwan Tengku Mahmud came on the heels of the frequent occurrence of road accidents in the country, including the fatal road crash on Friday which claimed the lives of six people in Jalan Segamat-Kuantan in Segamat, Johor.

The road safety plan, they said, aimed at reducing road fatalities by 50 per cent by the year 2030.

They expressed concern that the target could not be achieved since the number of road accidents reported during the first six months of this year has been rising.

"Statistics showed 294,197 road accident cases were reported from January until June this year, which is an increase of 13.3 per cent compared to 283,065 cases reported during the same period last year.

"The number of road fatalities involving motorcycle riders is still the highest in the country, with 1,884 cases reported between January and June this year," Lee and Tengku Ahmad Marwan said in a statement today.

They cited a study by local authorities which showed that 80 per cent of the road accident cases were the result of human negligence.

"The time has come for the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Transport Minister Anthony Loke, who are the patron and chairman of the National Road Safety Council, respectively, to pay serious attention and take drastic measures to prevent road accidents and fatalities in the country.

"The council is the best platform for the government and all stakeholders to look into the matter and formulate the best solutions so that the vision and mission outlined in the MRSP 2022-2030 can be achieved," the statement said.

Lee and Tengku Ahmad Marwan also seek intervention from Anwar and Loke to ensure the Road Safety Council at all levels "returns to play an active role".

"We need more awareness campaigns and programmes to train and educate the people to become quality road-users.

"In addition, any proposal deemed to affect the road safety must be studied and that it must take into consideration the views of the council and other stakeholders," they said.

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