MCA extends our condolences and sadness over the untimely departure of five Universiti Sultan Azlan Shah (USAS) students whose lives were snatched away in a road collision last week involving two trailers and the victims’ vehicle.
What is even more frustrating is that accidents like this one could have been avoided if proper preventive and control measures had been undertaken.
Recently, police investigations revealed that the trailer driver was driving recklessly and had been slapped with 22 summonses in the past. Of these, 21 have been settled including eight for speeding offences.
The situation is further compounded by media reports claiming that the trailer was not properly maintained as prescribed by government agencies such as the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) and the Road Transport Department (JPJ).
In this case, not only must the issue of enforcement be taken seriously, but vehicle operators as well as firms, or companies that operate heavy vehicles and others are likewise obliged to be held accountable.
This is because their failure to carry out their responsibilities to ensure that vehicles on the road are “roadworthy” or “fit for the road” can lead to accidents and claim the lives of people too.
This responsibility cannot be taken lightly. Instead, it should be emphasised to all those involved with the handling of heavy vehicles.
There are more than enough problems plaguing Malaysia involving vehicles and accidents.
Every year, Malaysian roads are becoming more and more dangerous. According to data by an international firm Zutobi, which was released a few days ago, Malaysia is listed among the 10 most dangerous countries in the world to drive on roads/ highways, along with Thailand, Argentina and South Africa.
Additionally, according to JPJ data, youths and children continue to count among the highest number of casualties due to road accidents in Malaysia with more than 47% of road accident victims being individuals aged 30 and below. How many more of our citizens need to become victims of accidents, which were preventable?
Therefore, MCA urges all quarters to take this issue seriously.
Do not make JPJ and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) the scapegoats each time a serious accident occurs. Singularly, they each do not have the capacity to reduce road accidents if vehicle operators are not serious in their responsibility to keep their vehicles at a good working level while careless drivers are allowed to drive on the roads.
Mike Chong Yew Chuan