Safe Steps Road Safety-14

During the launch of the Safe Steps Road Safety programme in Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh was vehement in emphasising road safety awareness, especially where it concerned children and young adults. Speaking at a press conference after the event, Yeoh said that road safety awareness began at the roots.

“We are hoping to start soon with the schools, and I have already been approached. It’s a collaborative effort with the government, the private sector, with individuals and especially with schools. We have the messages right now, but we need to work together with the schools where it becomes part of the curriculum,” said Yeoh.

She said training on road safety starts with children, and road safety is a behaviour that has to be inculcated from young. “We will be assisting schools in getting the Safe Steps videos and pamphlets, so that children can be taught the correct thing to do, and in turn, they can pass the message on to adults about road safety, acting as their Jiminy Cricket,” she explained.

Meanwhile, FIA president Datuk Seri Jean Todt said that the biggest problems on Malaysian roads were collective. “It is everything put together, you don’t have enough education, you don’t have enough law enforcement,” he said.

“For example, in Europe, if I drink and then drive, I will lose my license. If you think nothing will happen, you will not pay attention. So it comes down to education, and law enforcement. You have beautiful motorways here, but you must know how to use them. But the motorways must also be improved.”

“Malaysia has 30 million people, but you have 34 million vehicles. Take Philippines, you have 100 million people and eight million vehicles. In Malaysia, you have three times more vehicles than the Philippines and three times less people. That’s a successful country. On road safety, you have to be more effective, so the Safe Steps programme is necessary,” Todt said.

Asked about her thoughts on the cost of safety, especially in Asia where the addition or requirement of safety equipment in a vehicle may be prohibitive to some, Yeoh said that Malaysians should re-examine their priorities.

“When you are buying a new car, you have all these safety features and equipment available to you, it doesn’t cost you that much extra. Instead of getting a new car stereo system in the car, get these safety features, such as ESC, as it will make a difference to you and your loved ones.” Readers can search Carbase for vehicles with ESC and other safety features.