liow tiong lai

In light of the nation’s ever-increasing number of road accidents and fatalities, the government has announced that it will be implementing four urgent initiatives to help improve the situation. According to The Star, transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said that these measures were discussed recently at the Cabinet Task Force on Road Safety meet, with all in favour of the move.

“Several key areas were covered with a view towards execution in the near term,” he said. “They are the implementation of AES and the Kejara Demerit Points system (AWAS), the standardisation of the maximum permitted weight of commercial vehicles, evaluation of road safety and accident investigation of the East Coast Expressway 2 and recommendations on improvement and the execution of the International Road Safety Assessment Programme (IRAP) in Malaysia.”

The minister added that the task force was made aware of all current road safety initiatives and were presented with safety statistics during festive seasons last year. Notably, it was reported that a total of 489,606 road accidents and 6,706 fatalities were recorded throughout 2015.

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“This was clearly an increase from 2014 and the economic loss incurred was in excess of RM8 billion,” Liow said. He added that the task force would review the advocacy plan by the Road Safety Department and the implementation of Malaysia’s Road Safety Plan 2014 – 2020.

Liow said that he remains hopeful that the alarming statistics will be reduced with the government’s new initiatives, but said that none of this can be realised if drivers aren’t responsible and courteous on the road. “A dedicated Cabinet Task Force on Road Safety cannot achieve its goals if the rakyat and non-governmental organisations do not play their role in this matter,” he concluded.