Beyond the human cost, there is a financial price to pay for road accidents, to the tune of RM9.2 billion last year, according to transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. Based upon the latest report by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, this represented an increase of RM581.3 million over 2015, according to The Star.

“We take this very seriously. Malaysia must have a safety culture not just in factories but on the roads as well,” Liow said. Every death costs the country an average of RM 1.2 million, with RM120,000 incurred for severe injury and RM12,000 for light injury incurred in terms of medical cost, productivity loss and other payouts, MIROS estimated.

Last year, 7,152 people were killed in 521,466 road accidents last year, said Liow. The death rate due to road accidents rose from 2.55 persons per 10,000 registered vehicles in 2015, to 2.59 persons for every 10,000 registered vehicles last year.

The Transport Ministry is planning to hire the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for a more in-depth study towards improving road safety in Malaysia, said the transport minister. JICA carried out traffic studies on Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand. The agency reported that Malaysia had a relatively high crash rate for every owned vehicle, likely due to the great number of motorcycles on Malaysian roads.

The ministry had carried out many campaigns to improve road safety for motorcyclists, including measures such as encouraging motorcyclists to wear reflective vests, and holding spot checks to ensure helmets are worn, Liow said. However, cooperation from all stakeholders is needed for the Malaysian government to reduce the road death rate to 2.0 persons for every 10,000 registered vehicles by 2020.