The Malaysian highway network is said to meet standards and is on par with those of developed countries, and should not be blamed for the rising number of accidents, according to a report by Kosmo.

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Road Safety Research Centre head Dr Law Teik Hua said that the government had conducted studies on the highway structures in Italy, the United States and Germany before deciding to use said structures to build the highways here.

“It is undeniable that our roads have potholes and uneven surfaces throughout, but the damage is caused by weather conditions such as the rain and heat, as well as the heavy vehicles that ply the roads,” he told the publication recently.

Teik Hua added that the local highway network also has world class facilities, including rest stops every 60 km as well as parking spaces at every two interchanges. He also said that the highway concessionaires have ensured that there are emergency telephone booths every two kilometres, along with highway patrol services to provide emergency assistance in the event of a breakdown.

“Every highway is also fitted with advanced safety features such as the Integrated Traffic Information System (ITIS) as well as a traffic flow monitoring centre that uses closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras,” said Teik Hua. “In addition, all highways have speed limits set by the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM), and if road users followed those limits then accidents can be avoided.”

Teik Hua also said that the attitudes of road users who are oblivious to their own safety as well as those of others are the real culprits behind the spike in road accidents in Malaysia.