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The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently released its Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015, where Malaysia was ranked among the lowest nations in South East Asia when it comes to seat belt law and road safety enforcement.

Malaysia scored four out of a possible 10 for enforcement levels on implementing the national seat belt law, and Malaysian police are not in agreement with the poor result given by the WHO. Speaking to The Sun, Federal Traffic Police chief Mahamad Akhir Darus questioned the technique utilised by WHO when rating Malaysian authorities as such.

“I wonder how WHO conducted the research and provided the poor marks on the rate of seat belt usage in the country. This is a foreign body and their method and findings are questionable,” he said.

3-Point Seat Belt

In the WHO findings, the seat belt compliance rate for Malaysia stood at 77% and 13% for front and rear occupants, respectively, figures that the Malaysian police feel should have been higher. However, a study by MIROS in May this year, revealed that only 7 to 9% of rear occupants use rear seat belts.

Mahamad did concede that rear seat belt usage is still low since the law’s introduction six years ago but reiterated that the findings by WHO was still unjust. He added that more promotional campaigns would encourage higher usage.

The WHO report would be among the main discussion topics at the National Road Safety Council meeting to be held in Kangar on November 1, according to Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi. “I will ask Road Safety Department, RTD and the road safety council in all states to reach out and educate the public on all aspects of road safety,” he said.