KUCHING: The lack of a comprehensive road safety programme may lead to 8,750 deaths in road accidents this year.
According to Road Safety Department (JKJR) director-general Abdul Ghafar Yusof, the number will continue to rise to an estimated 10,716 deaths by 2020 if no preventive measures are taken to raise awareness among road users.
“If we think that the situation will improve without intervention or additional programmes, the number of deaths caused by road accidents will increase by 56% from 2010 to 2020,” said Abdul Ghafar at the road safety awareness programme at Batu Lintang Teachers Training Institute.
“According to the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), 80% of the accidents are caused by human error, 13% by the car and 7% because of the road conditions,” he said.
Malaysia is ranked second in Asean with the highest number of road accident-related deaths, behind Thailand. One third of deaths caused by road accidents involved youths between the ages of 16 and 25.
The country would also suffer economic loss through wasted human capital, he added.
“Every year, thousands of lives are lost through road accidents.
“In 2014, there were 6,674 road accident deaths and Miros estimated each life lost was worth RM1.2mil,” said Abdul Ghafar in his speech.
He added that Miros research shows that early preventive measures and road safety awareness programmes could have a greater impact by providing awareness and guidance through a road safety education module at the institute.
The programme held at the institute was jointly organised by JKJR and the Batu Lintang Teachers Training Institute to provide awareness, guidance and education to the trainees so that they could impart their knowledge to future students.
They include safe ways to ride motorcycles, pillion rider precautions and advice for pedestrians.
The programme is in line with the Malaysian Road Safety Plan 2014 to 2020 and is also intended to prepare teachers in training for the Road Safety Education module in the future.
Abdul Ghafar also advised the younger generation to be careful road users and follow the rules.