MELAKA: The recent fatal express bus accident in Pagoh, Johor, raises questions whether the studies on similar accidents were taken seriously, said Melaka Transport, Works and Public Amenities Committee chairman Mohd Sofi Abdul Wahab.
Mohd Sofi said the accident should serve as an ‘eye-opener’ that studies made on past accidents should be made public and the recommendations implemented properly to avoid recurrences in future.
“The relevant authorities have made various studies on accidents, especially express bus collisions and the outcome (of these studies) should be enforced,” he said in message to the media on Tuesday.
His comments came in the wake of the fatal road accident where three people died in a collision involving an express bus, a container lorry and a tanker near the southbound Pagoh exit of the North-South Expressway on June 3.
Mohd Sofi said recommendations made by bodies such as the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (Miros) on previous crashes should be implemented by the traffic enforcement agencies.
He said fatal bus accidents could be due to sleep deprivation in the driver or mechanical problems with the vehicles.
“I am sure recommendations have been made on how bus companies should comply to safety regulations.
“However, we still witness express bus drivers speeding along our expressways,” he said, adding that it was time the Government took serious steps to prevent fatal crashes involving express buses.
Mohd Sofi said the authorities should strictly look into express bus company schedules and how they managed the shifts for the bus drivers as well as ensuring they employed experienced drivers.
He said it was alarming to witness frequent fatal accidents involving express buses on expressways and even trunk roads still grabbing the headlines.
Previous studies, he noted, revealed that accidents are likely due to human factors with speeding contributing to the main cause of accidents.
Mohd Sofi said previous suggestions were made to set up National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as an independent government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accidents.
“However, the NTSB has still not been formed although it was among the 51 key recommendations reported by the independent advisory panel on the Genting Highland bus crash in 2013,” he said.