Deputy transport minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar at the 2020 Kawasaki Road Safety Campaign.

The ministry of transport preferred that the term “crash” be used for the description of road accidents in order to further raise awareness for road safety, said deputy transport minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar. The matter was raised at the annual general meeting of the Road Safety Council of Malaysia at the end of last year to convey the real impact of road accidents, Bernama reported.

“Crashes can happen because of unintended factors like road conditions, vehicles failing to perform well although serviced; whereas accidents are due to human error or negligence of road users themselves in that they place their own interests above that of others,” said Kamarudin.

“So, the use of the term “crash” can change the mindset of the public to be always alert and more careful on the roads. It can help motorcyclists and drivers understand better the big responsibility on their shoulders when they are on the roads,” he said after the launch of the 2020 Kawasaki Road Safety Campaign.

Citing police statistics, Kamarudin said there were 837,695 reported accidents in 2018, a rise of 4.4% compared to 2017’s figure of 802,523. The highest number of fatalities recorded involved motorcyclists at 4,128 cases, followed by car drivers at 1,167 cases and pedestrians at 407 cases, according to Bernama.

The 2020 Kawasaki Road Safety Campaign focuses on proper riding etiquette and not using the mobile phone while riding, and riders could have old helmets exchanged for new units, free of charge. The campaign also offers a 16-point safety check for riders of all motorcycle brands, also free of charge.