2016 Yamaha Road safety -1

The attitude of Malaysian road-users towards safety campaigns held during festive seasons in Malaysia to raise safety awareness and prevent road deaths was critisised by Transport minister Datuk Sri Liow Tiong Lai. Speaking at the Yamaha “Balik kampung road safety campaign” held in Bentong, Pahang, Liow said despite the ministry and other related parties holding yearly campaigns, the death toll on highways and roads during the festive season has not changed.

“We hold these campaigns every year, and yet we still see a high number of accidents on the roads, especially during the balik kampung rush,” said Liow. “This has to change, and starting this year, we are going to increase enforcement, in cooperation with other agencies such as JPJ.”

Liow also mentioned that helmet use was poor, especially in rural areas, and said that many riders were using helmets that were past the shelf-life. “There are riders using helmets that are 10-, 15-, even 20-years old. Helmets have a shelf-life, and should not be beyond five years.”

Changes to the present helmet law are being considered, according to Liow, and the ministry is looking into making it mandatory for helmets to be “retired” after a certain period after manufacture. “We are considering this. When riding, the only real protection is the helmet, and an old helmet will not provide much protection.”

Enforcement will also be stepped up this year, with the involvement of related agencies in joint operations, according to Liow. “We are going to come down hard this year on law-breakers, and we shall be conducting joint-operations. For example, if JPJ is conducting an operation, then the police will also be involved to conduct checks on the drivers,” he said.

With the theme of “focus on the road, not on your hand”, this year’s Yamaha road safety campaign also illustrated the danger of using the hand-phone while driving. This was illustrated by a simple demonstration of a video of a person driving, looking down at the phone, and being involved in and accident in a split-second.

During the road safety campaign which is held at four locations – Bentong, Pahang; Sungai Dua, Penang; Sungai Petani, Kedah and Shah Alam, Selangor – riders can take advantage of safety checks conducted by Yamaha mechanics and 500 lucky participants will exchange their old, unsafe helmets for new KHI helmets.