ABOUT 1,000 children are lost on roads every year in Malaysia.
Safe Kids Malaysia Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) executive director Assoc Prof Dr Kulanthayan KC Mani said this is a figure that could be avoided since road crashes are preventable.
“Malaysia recorded 548,598 road crashes last year and lost 6,284 lives on the roads.
“This translates to a crash happening every minute and lives lost every 84 minutes in the country, ” he said. Responding to this, Safe Kids Malaysia Universiti Putra Malaysia launched the Children Road Safety Empowerment Initiative to transfer road safety knowledge to the children.
This is to empower them as an agent of change for their families and friends.
Safe Kids Malaysia Universiti Putra Malaysia in partnership with the Road Safety Department Selangor (JKJR) and National Civil Defence Force Malaysia (APM) jointly undertook the initiative at SJK (T) Simpang Morib in Banting, Selangor.
This programme was attended by the school’s headmaster K. Shanmugam, APM director of training management Assistant Commissioner Mulliadi Al-Hamdi Ladin and Road Safety Department Selangor officer Wan Zaleha Daud.
The road safety empowerment programme was carried out by Dr Kulanthayan.
He spoke to the pupils on what happens when a motorcyclist is involved in a crash.
“In a crash, the impact is direct to the body of the users as compared to travelling in a protected vehicle such as a car, van or bus where users are seated inside the vehicle. “Travelling inside a vehicle is much safer as we have one extra layer of protection – vehicle body which is missing for those outside any vehicle such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, ” he said.
He said these groups are called vulnerable road users.
JKJR also ran a road safety exhibition booth and held a quiz session.
In conjunction with Deepavali, 84 children were provided with a unique gift in the form of a standard motorcycle child safety helmet.
He said this is to prevent head injuries as many children commute to school without one.
The national statistics show that motorcycle deaths are due to head injuries, he added.
The children were taught during the programme that they have to use a helmet at all times and to also request their family members to do so when travelling on motorcycles.
He said the complimentary child safety helmets were made possible through funding from Halliburton Foundation USA and Safe Kids Worldwide USA.
Did you find this article insightful?