A tragic accident indeed

I REFER to the tragic accident at Km14.5 of the Federal Highway in the early hours of Saturday when a car with four teenagers skidded and crashed into the guardrail.

The accident happened on a straight stretch which is said to be an accident-prone spot.

Was the young driver speeding before the accident happen? The highway must be quite empty at the time of the accident which was just after five in the morning.

Three of the occupants, all 18-year-old students of local universities, perished in the mishap.

All three were flung out of the car. Were they not wearing their seat belts? The answer is obvious.

Only one passenger, the one in the front, survived the horrific crash. She can relate what might have happened but, alas, she was fast asleep prior to the accident.

So nobody really knows for sure whether the driver was speeding or not.

I do not want to speculate but from the picture of the twisted and mangled car published in the newspapers, speeding was most likely the cause.

If speeding was the probable cause, than the accident is a lesson to all motorists never to speed on the highway or on any road.

Speeding thrills, but it also kills. It not only takes away the life of the driver but the lives of innocent people as well.

But there could be other factors involved as well, among them:

> Factor 1: The driver could have dozed off as the accident happened after five in the morning. It is said that most drivers will feel sleepy around this time. Dozing off while driving even for a split second can prove deadly. I have experienced that once on the North-South Expressway. I dozed off for about three seconds and strayed from the innermost left lane into the fast lane. Fortunately, nothing happened as I woke up in time to drive my car safely back to the left lane. What a scary moment it was.

> Factor 2: The driver was trying to avoid hitting a stray animal crossing the road or some other obstacle.

> Factor 3: Being only 18, the driver could have just recently obtained his driving licence and was unable to resist the temptation to drive faster than usual, especially on a straight stretch.

These are all possibilities. Witnesses should come forward so that we know what really happened.

Furthermore, as this is an accident-prone spot, we need to study the real reasons so that appropriate measures can be taken.

I also want to take this opportunity to share what I have observed along the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway where several streetlights in the middle of the expressway appear to be out of order.

I fear that accidents could happen along this stretch especially to motorcyclists who sometimes ride in the middle of the highway.

This is the part of the highway that leads to the traffic lights junction heading to Taman Greenwood and towards Genting Highlands and the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2).

If the lighting is under the jurisdiction of Tenaga Nasional and not under the purview of DUKE, we would be grateful if the toll operator takes the initiative to inform Tenaga of the problem.


Kuala Lumpur

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