PJ Traffic Jam

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is demanding for traffic laws to be continuously and strictly enforced, rather than it being seasonal to coincide with local festivals.

According to Bernama, president SM Mohamed Idris claimed that Malaysia was ranked 20th in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 2011 list of countries with the most road deaths, and that the country did not have a good record with law enforcement.

“The enforcement of laws in Malaysia related to speed limits, drunk driving, motorcycle helmets and seat belts was ranked between four to five in a range of 0-10 compared to Singapore’s enforcement, which was ranked between seven to nine,” he said.

Also worrying is the rising number of road accidents in the country, with 18 people killed daily. Indeed, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) expects that figure to rise to 29 by 2020.

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SM Mohamed added that the low traffic fatalities in Singapore were partly the result of strict enforcement – the island nation recorded just four deaths per 100,000 population, while Malaysia had about 24 deaths per 100,000 population.

“Due to the lack of traffic law enforcement, among other reasons, the Perception of Being Caught (POBC) rate among Malaysian road users is low, at a 25% rate on regular days and a 50% rate during the festive seasons when there are road safety operations,” he said.

The president stressed the need to up the POBC rate – which stands at between 80-90% in developed countries – to create more disciplined drivers. Such a move, he said, would dramatically improve the culture of enforcement among the authorities and reduce the propensity of Malaysian drivers to break laws.

The association also called for a special investigation team to reduce corruption in the transport system in the field of traffic offences, road worthiness of vehicles, overloading, driver testing, licensing irregularities and vehicle inspections.