|MIRI (Dec 20): The number of road accidents has increased state-wide, following the relaxation of Covid-19 movement restrictions, thus the need for continuous campaigns to educate road users on road safety and behaviour.
According to Minister of Transport Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin, the number of road accidents had increased by 40.3 per cent to 17,824 cases this year from 12,706 in 2021.
“In comparison, the road accident cases inclusive of fatal accidents, serious accidents, minor accidents and crash damages that happened in 2021 are seemingly lower than that of 2022, as the nation was still under movement control order (MCO).
“However, after the country’s economy has reopened and safety restriction was eased, people began to move around more.
“It is important to note that with the higher number of road users, the possibility of accident occurrence would be higher too,” he told reporters after launching the state-level Road Safety Campaign in conjunction with Christmas and Chinese New Year at the Petronas station in Permyjaya yesterday.
On the types of injuries reported from road accidents, Lee noted there was an increase of 18.2 per cent or 145 cases from 798 cases in 2021 to 943 this year.
The number of death cases, he added, increased to 350 in 2022 from 299 in 2021; serious injuries cases increased to 223 in 2022 from 159 in 2021; and minor injuries cases increased to 370 in 2022 from 340 in 2021.
“Those who will be driving long distance this Christmas or Chinese New Year next month are reminded to check their vehicles before the long haul journey; to rest well before driving; and also to rest in between the stops, as driving for long hours can be extremely exhausting,” he reminded.
Lee also revealed that in the effort to tackle road accidents in the state, the Road Safety Council has been set up at each division throughout Sarawak and each of the divisional road safety councils will be chaired by the Resident.
He said the council will work with representatives from agencies such as local government, Road Transport Department (JPJ), Resident’s Office, police and Public Works Department (JKR) to iron out programmes to reduce road accidents.
He also said his ministry and the divisional road safety councils had earlier launched the Awareness Behavioural Change (ABC) programme to educate road users on attitude and behaviour while on the road.
“Road accidents are mostly caused by human factors and the factors are due to attitude of road users such as not following rules, driving/riding recklessly, driving under influence of alcohol and drug; therefore, this programme is to focus on changing attitude and behaviour of road users,” said Lee.
Also present were State JPJ director Norizan Jili, Miri JPJ head Fifi Suhesty Hasmuni and Miri deputy police chief Supt Mohd Sabri Zainol.
| The Borneo Post