Enforcing Road Safety

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"OPS Sikap 24 dan Kempen Rumah Selamat" has just been launched in time for the Hari Raya balik kampung exodus. Again, and as always, the objective is to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities in this seasonal killing field of the Malaysian festival calendar.

But as the campaign's name suggests, this time the approach is more rounded: safety for those on the road and the homes that they have left vacant. Towards this end, the police have mobilised thousands of officers in a high-profile exercise. Their inescapable presence during this festive season should discourage road offenders and criminals alike. As the findings of Ops Sikap 22 for the last Hari Raya demonstrate, it is the heavy police presence that helped reduce road accidents because drivers became more cautious for fear of being nabbed and fined, or worse.

Malaysia has a deplorable record as far as road fatalities go. The France-based International Transport Forum report for last year found that of the 33 countries surveyed in 2009, this country topped the list of road deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Yet, for a developing country, we have an enviable network of roads that reaches nearly all areas. Of course, some stretches are more dangerous than others. Nevertheless, this does not explain why more than 60 per cent of road deaths during Ops Sikap 22 were motorcyclists. Hence the effort by the Road Transport Department to ensure that helmets that do indeed protect the wearer are widely distributed by offering them to motorcyclists at a discount.
But safety features such as helmets for motorcyclists and seat belts and air bags for motorists are meant to prevent injury and death at the moment of impact. They do not prevent speeding and drivers falling asleep at the wheel, the two major causes of road accidents. Of course, it is unrealistic to expect the police to make the huge turnout 24/7, which is what seems to be needed, as the evidence suggests. Therefore, the best alternative is to put into place an automated system, the Automatic Enforcement System (AEC), comprising digital cameras connected to RTD offices capable of automatically issuing summonses to offenders. The AEC works on the same fear that road users have in relation to high profile policing. It keeps them circumspect and on their toes, making responsible behaviour more the rule than the exception. Though it extends the long arm of the law, it cannot substitute for the flexing of that arm as the ultimate method of enforcement.

Source: http://www.nst.com.my
@ Safety Information...ThinkSafe,WorkSafe


Acik said...

hoping for d best! :)

man said...

for all...

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