Road accidents cost Malaysia RM25bil in economic value in 2023, says Transport Minister

KUALA LUMPUR: At least RM25bil in economic value was lost as road accidents in Malaysia reached an eight-year peak in 2023, says Anthony Loke.

This represents a more than 35% increase in annual economic losses due to road accidents compared to the RM18bil lost in 2010, the Transport Minister said.

“The total losses experienced by the country are calculated based on the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by road accidents.

"The estimated monetary value for each death or serious injury is calculated using methods employed by the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP). This takes into account all involved victims’ possible contributions to gross domestic product (GDP) should the accident not have occurred,” he said in a Parliamentary written reply dated July 10.

Loke was responding to Pang Hok Liong (PH-Labis), who asked about the financial losses suffered by the country due to road accidents and the steps being taken by the Transport Ministry to address this issue.

This rise in losses aligns with an exceptionally high number of road accidents in 2023, totalling 598,635, a near 10% increase over the 545,585 road accidents in 2022.

This number also exceeded the previous eight-year peak of 567,516 road accidents recorded in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

To address this, Loke said both his ministry and the Works Ministry are exploring the possibility of codifying the existing 30km/h speed limit guidelines near school areas, commonly used by local authorities, into a law that would make it compulsory for all to follow.

As of June 12, Loke also noted that Automatic Safety Awareness System (Awas) cameras have been installed on the northbound side of the Menora Tunnel on the North-South Expressway, a hotspot for accidents.

“Awas cameras for the southbound side of the tunnel are expected to have begun operating from July 1. We are also continuing to work alongside the Housing and Local Government Ministry to push for more transit oriented development, which aims to reduce Malaysians' dependence on owning personal vehicles to meet their mobility needs,” he added.

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