SEREMBAN: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has agreed to lend his expertise on yet another crucial task – saving lives on the road.
The Prime Minister will appear in a special festive video clip under a campaign to drive home a road safety message to motorists.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said Dr Mahathir was chosen for his “star power appeal”.
“I asked him and he immediately agreed to do it,” Loke said after launching a Road Safety Campaign and Ops Bersepadu yesterday at the Seremban R&R (southbound) of the North South Expressway.
Loke will also put his “skills” to the test by appearing with Dr Mahathir in the video clip and getting a second clip done.
He said production teams from Limkokwing University and TM Malaysia had agreed to produce the clips for free, as the Road Safety Department only had a budget of RM1mil for such campaigns.
On the festive road safety campaign, Loke said the speed limit on all federal roads would be reduced from 90kph to 80kph for two weeks from today, with the limit on state roads reduced to 70kph.
He said police would conduct Ops Selamat for two weeks from today, while the Road Transport Department (JPJ) would enforce Ops Bersepadu over the same period.
Heavy vehicles will be ordered off the roads on June 13, 14, 23 and 24 to reduce traffic congestion.
Loke said 257 road fatalities and 22,402 accidents were registered during Ops Bersepadu last year.
“But Ops Bersepadu was effective in reducing road fatalities with a 14% drop last year,’’ he added.
In total, 6,740 road fatalities were registered last year compared to 7,152 in 2016.
But the number of road accidents registered last year increased by 2.4% to 533,875, from 521,466 in 2016, Loke said.
To ensure that all express buses were roadworthy and its drivers free of substance abuse, he said JPJ would conduct operations at bus depots before the festive period.
“If buses and drivers have outstanding summonses, we will order them to pay up first before they can operate the bus or engage the driver,” he added.