Existing road safety campaigns have failed to reduce the number of road accidents in the country, said deputy transport minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi. According to a report by theSundaily, the ministry of transport’s (MOT) Road Safety Plan 2014-2020 aimed to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries by 50% by 2020, but the death toll has instead increased every year.

Abdul Aziz added that since 2003, the number of deaths from road accidents never dipped below 6,000. In fact, last year alone, the figure went past the 7,000 mark, up from 6,706 deaths in 2015. This was from 960,569 road accidents recorded throughout the country, with 670,935 involving motorcycles, said road safety department director-general Datuk Rosli Isa. Meanwhile, for the first nine months of 2017, the number of deaths stood at 5,083 deaths from 400,788 road accidents.

All relevant agencies and parties, including the road safety department, road transport department (JPJ), and the Malaysian institute of road safety research (Miros) should look into a more holistic approach to tackle the problem, Abdul Aziz said.

“We should have a new focus (in the effort to reduce accident rates) because I see the data today increasing, that is why I say we have failed and we should admit this fact. Maybe we should look at the practice in other countries like Sweden, where the accident rate is 10 times lower than ours,” he told reporters.

He added that other than increasing use of public transportation, other ways of reducing road accidents could include tightening the conditions for vehicle ownership. Each year, he said, 1.5 million new vehicles and more than 500,000 new drivers were registered in Malaysia.

“In Singapore, a person who wants to buy a personal vehicle must have a Certificate of Entitlement (COE). But in our country, a house can sometimes have up to six cars,” Abdul Aziz explained.