Malaysia aims to reduce road fatalities by 50% by 2030, says Dr Wee

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia hopes to achieve its target of reducing road fatalities by 50% by the year 2030, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The Transport Minister said that in line with Malaysia's commitment under the United Nations 2nd Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021 - 2023 and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, all key parties including state governments, industry players, and non-governmental organisations, are collectively working to ensure road safety is entrenched as part of the norms in people's daily life.

"In Malaysia, fatalities from motorcycle users contributed to more than half of the yearly total fatalities from road crashes. Hence, tackling the safety aspect involving motorcycle users has become paramount towards achieving the target of reducing road fatalities by 50% by the year 2030," he said when delivering the Member state’s statement at the United Nations High-Level Meeting in New York on Thursday (June 30).

Dr Wee said the high number of users and almost equal number of motorcycles as compared to other motor vehicles on the road posed a huge challenge for the Malaysian government to formulate effective safety policies related to motorcyclists.

"We pay serious attention to the nine recommendations put forward by the Academic Expert Group of the Swedish Transport Administration in their high-level report, especially those related to safer vehicles and proliferation of safer technologies in vehicle construction and infrastructure design," he noted.

In this regard, Dr Wee said that Malaysia was also focused on enhancing the adoption of vehicle safety technologies by creating demand for such technologies and sustaining the supply chains of production.

"We have seen a very positive impact of the Asean New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) on vehicle manufacturers towards populating Malaysian roads with safer cars day by day.

"We are also working towards making it mandatory for the Anti-Lock Braking System or ABS to be installed on all new Motorcycles models, initially for 150cc and above, in the next 2 years," added Dr Wee.

Malaysia, he pointed, had been undertaking the International Road Assessment Programme since 2016.

"We are now putting in place a more focused-driven programme for motorcycle safety under the Malaysia Road Assessment Programme, including emphasising dedicated lanes for motorcycles on newly constructed roads.

"In addition, our Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, or Miros, is also forging close partnerships with many relevant organisations in the Asean region to bring the community together towards achieving the common goal of making the road transport safer," he said, adding that through these partnerships, wider collaboration, execution of road safety improvements projects, exchanges of expertise, knowledge and experience can be undertaken towards achieving safer roads for all parties involved.

Dr Wee also noted that all these efforts have also been institutionalised in the Malaysia Road Safety Plan 2022-2030 developed by the Transport Ministry and supported by all relevant stakeholders.

"This Plan has been prepared in line with the recommendations of the UN through resolution 74/299 which declared the period of 2021-2030 as the second Global Decade of Action for road safety.

"In addition, targets related to road safety elements as described under the SDG 3.6 and SDG 11.2 have also been adapted in this plan, with the main target to achieve at least 50% reduction in the number of fatalities caused by road crashes by 2030," noted Dr Wee.

"This Plan encompasses 10 priority areas that have been identified as being most important and significantly reduces the risks of deaths and serious injuries on Malaysian roads. In particular, two priority areas on safer motorcycle riding and safer vehicles will contain key strategies and action items to improve safety for riders and motorcycles in Malaysia," he said.

He also strongly believes that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, the 2nd Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021 – 2030, the Global Plan and the Academic Expert Group High-Level Report, will continue to provide a good guiding framework for all stakeholders based on worldwide best practices.

"The adoption of the Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting on Improving Global Road Safety today also reaffirms our collective commitment to international cooperation on road safety.

"Let us all work together to achieve the ultimate safety goals towards the betterment of our life, nationally and globally," he said.

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