PETALING JAYA: A total of 17 people were fatally struck by trains in various locations last year owing to lackadaisical attitude and carelessness, says Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB).
Corporate communications chief Ahmad Asri Khalbi said there were several reasons for such accidents – among them, victims trespassing onto tracks and even a case where a contract worker was struck whilst taking a selfie.
"KTMB's auxiliary police units have increased patrols, and as of December last year, a total of 170 people were detained for various offences, including trespassing," he said in media statement issued on Saturday (April 20).
Ahmad said four years ago, a contract grass-cutter was killed by a commuter train in Nilai, Negri Sembilan when he was struck whilst taking a photograph of himself. Then there were the two siblings from Klang who were killed when they were hit while taking a shortcut across the train tracks in 2017.
Besides the 17 fatalities, Ahmad added that KTMB also recorded 56 cases of livestock being struck by trains, 86 cases of theft of equipment and cables, including 14 cases of individuals throwing stones at passing trains.
He said the company had to spend some RM200,000 last year to replace stolen parts and repair damages caused by livestock straying onto tracks.
He added that KTMB recorded between three to eight cases of stray livestock being struck each month.
According to Ahmad, those convicted of damaging train track fencing could face fines up to RM1,000 or three months' jail or both, while those trespassing and crossing over train tracks could be fined RM500.
He added that those found guilty of damaging train equipment faced a maximum punishment of RM5,000 or three years' jail or both upon conviction.
KTMB operates 1,655km of tracks, and ferries 108,352 passengers daily or 3.29mil passengers a month.