Driving home safety mindset

Module teaches NS trainees to be responsible road users.

NATIONAL Service (NS) camps in Sarawak are the only ones in the country that run a full road safety education (RSE) module.

Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said the module, conducted over eight hours, covered all elements of road safety and involved lectures, games and interactive sessions.

Trainees are taught the proper ways and skills on the road and to be responsible road users at all times. Manyin said as the trainees underwent military-like discipline training, the intensive RSE would be effective to instil in them road safety values.

“Hopefully through the RSE, trainees will learn a lot about road safety and know what to do when they go for their driving licence tests and become motorists later,” he told reporters after attending a briefing on the RSE module by state Road Safety Department (JKJR) in Kuching yesterday.

He said about 68% of road accidents were due to human factors, such as a lack of discipline among road users.

Statistics showed that nearly 27,000 NS trainees have attended the RSE module conducted jointly by the department, Shell and Puspakom since its introduction in 2007. The eight NS camps in Sarawak train about 7,200 youths a year.

Manyin urged NS camps in other states to introduce the full RSE module.

The RSE module, said a press statement of the JKJR, would be extended from primary to secondary schools in Sarawak this year.

Some 288,000 Year One to Six pupils in 1,266 schools have been taught the module by more than 4,000 teachers.

Meanwhile, JKJR statistics showed that the number of road accidents in Sarawak increased to 15,759 during the first 11 months of last year, up from 15,157 during the same period in 2009.

A total of 330 road users were killed in 294 fatal accidents during the period under review as compared to 310 deaths in 282 accidents during the first 11 months in 2009.

Manyin described the goal of achieving zero fatalities from road accidents in Sarawak by 2020 as a “tall order”.

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