KUALA LUMPUR: Road deaths have cost the nation a whopping RM79bil over the last nine years, with an average of 18 to 19 deaths daily.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said 65,850 people were killed in road accidents between 2004 and last year.
“For last year alone, road accident deaths numbered 6,916 people, with an estimated cost of about RM8.3bil,” he said at the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims event held here yesterday.
According to the Malaysian Road Safety Institute (Miros), the money lost was not just medical costs and repairs of damaged roads, but also in terms of investment and productivity.
“The amount takes into account what you could potentially contribute to the nation,” said Miros director-general Prof Dr Wonsg Shaw Voon, adding that an individual’s death saw a loss of RM1.2mil.
Studies show that a single fatality affects two generations of the family,” he said.
Between January and September this year, 5,138 road deaths were reported.
The road death index is at 2.9 for every 10,000 registered vehicles, down from 4.51 in 2004.
Developed countries such as Sweden and Britian boast an index of less than 2.0.
Later at a press conference, Abdul Aziz said the drop in the index in Malaysia was due to various initiatives taken by the authorities which intended to halve the number of road accidents by 2020 and bring the index to 2.0 or less.
On the Road Transport Department’s crackdown on high-intensity discharge and strobe lights and non-regulation number plates, he said thousands of offenders have been caught and fined.
“About 30% of speeding cars caught by traffic cameras such as AES cannot be identified due to non-regulation licence plates – where the numbers and letters are too small or in strange fonts.
“Some people even used their names!” he said.
He added that the authorities takes the matter very seriously if a vehicle was a liability on the roads.
A programme aimed at reducing road accidents would be organised by the Road Safety Department and Miros as part of the Road Safety Plan 2014-2020.