KUALA LUMPUR: IT is often said that Malaysians are bad drivers. Statistics are now proving it to be true.
The World Health Ranking 2011 has ranked Malaysia at number 20 in its list of countries with the most deaths caused by road accidents.
Road traffic accidents have also been identified as the leading cause of death in Malaysia, after coronary/heart disease, stroke, influenza and pneumonia.
Research by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (Miros) showed that an average of of 18 people were killed on Malaysian roads daily.
The figure is expected to rise to 29 by 2020.
Miros’ research predicted that road fatalities would account for 10,716 deaths in 2020 compared with an average of 6,915 annual deaths in recent years.
Not surprisingly, motorcyclists account for 60 per cent (4,149) of the total number of deaths.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi highlighted the severity of the statistics at the launch of the 16th edition of Yamaha’s “Balik Kampung Road Safety Campaign” here yesterday.
He said the figures were alarming considering that the government strove to improve road safety through advocacy programmes organised with help from the Road Transport Department (RTD), police and Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
Abdul Aziz said there might come a point in time where stricter vehicle ownership rules could be enforced to reduce the number of vehicles on the road in a bid to lower the number of fatalities.
“Restrictions in vehicle ownership may solve the problem, but we are not at that stage yet.
“The scenario will only benefit
us in the near future, where our public transportation system is operating at the highest level,” he said.
Statistics show the number of fatalities in Malaysia is increasing yearly, with the total number of accidents increasing by 80 per cent from the period between 2001 and 2013.