Toward safer roads

THE state government hopes to reduce road accident fatalities by 10% annually by Year 2020.

State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said under the Penang Road Safety Strategic Plan 2014-2020, they also hoped to achieve a 50% reduction by then.

“The road deaths in 2012 are 401. Our target is to reduce it to 200 by 2020.

“In Penang, it is estimated that one person dies and about 100 crashes occur daily on our roads.

“Thus, a concerted effort is needed by all relevant agencies to come up with effective measures to reduce these figures.

“Over the past 12 months, we have worked with Universiti Sains Malaysia under the leader-ship of Prof Dr Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah.

“Two workshops were conducted with related agencies, industry players and community stakeholders to formulate a plan which was subsequently adopted by us,” he said in his speech during the launch of the Penang Road Safety Strategic Plan 2014-2020 at Gurney Hotel recently.

Chow said four strategic ‘pillars’ have been identified for the first phase of the plan.

They are Enabling Data and Information, Changing Attitude, More Forgiving Roads, and Safer for Motorcycles.

“Penang is the first state in Malaysia to have this strategic plan.

“The efforts and implementation strategy of this plan started when the Penang Road Safety Drive Special Committee was set up last year in line with the Penang Transport Master Plan,” he said.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who launched the strategic plan, said the Road Safety Strategic Plan from 2014 to 2020 was in tandem with the aspirations of United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

“We want to ensure that all our roads are safe and accessible for all.

“The changing attitude is the most difficult factor to handle. Research has shown that an average of 70% of accidents are caused by motorists themselves,” he said.

Lim added that increasing the safety of motorcyclists was also important as motorcycles were the main contributors to accidents.

“In Penang, almost 60% of accident fatality involved motorcyclists.

“Infrastructures that help motorcyclists such as preparing a special motorcycle lane and wearing reflective attire when riding motorcycles must be implemented,” he said.

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Family & Community , Northern Region , road


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