IN the last six years, the number of road accidents in Malaysia has been increasing to more than 500,000 accidents annually.
The need to raise awareness on road safety among motorists is vital to ensure the reduction of road accidents, especially during festive seasons.
With this in mind, Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM) and Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA) recently launched a nationwide “Us” road safety campaign, aimed at shifting the mindset of motorists and inculcating safe riding and driving habits by road users.
The campaign, which started on April 21 and runs until May 31, is also aimed at reminding motorists of negligent riding and driving behaviours to avoid and the impact of high road accident fatalities on society, the economy and the nation as a whole.
The campaign’s slogan “Safety starts with ‘S’ but begins with ‘U’” encourages all Malaysians to play their part in ensuring safe practices on the roads.
The target road users include car drivers, motorcyclists, gig economy workers as well as commercial vehicle drivers in five states and federal territory with the highest accident death rates, namely Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Perak and Penang.
Based on the “Road Traffic Negligence in Malaysia’ study conducted by online market research and analytics company Vodus for PIAM and MTA (from Dec 28, 2021 to Jan 26 this year) using the “Wisdom of the Crowd” survey methodology, the most common road safety negligence by car drivers in the five states and federal territory is tailgating, which is observed by 50% of the car drivers surveyed, followed by speeding.
Motorcyclist swerving between lanes is the most common negligence, which is observed by 58% of the motorcyclists.
Meanwhile, using mobile phones while riding the bike is the highest rate for gig-economy workers such as food delivery riders, with an observation rate of 62%.
In the case of heavy vehicle/bus drivers, the most common negligence involved is the failure to enforce seatbelts on passengers, which has a 52% observation rate, while speeding accounts for an observation rate of 51%.
Over the years, most road fatalities involved motorcyclists; during the PIAM-MTA 2022 Nationwide Road Safety Campaign, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) informed that in 2020, there were a total of 4,634 fatalities due to road accidents, with 3,118 (67%) involving motorcycle accidents.
This situation was believed to be partially attributed to an increase in food and other delivery services during the pandemic.
There was also an alarming death count amongst young motorcyclists aged 16-30 years old totaling 11,690 fatalities, which represented 45% of total motorcycle fatalities due to road accidents from 2014 to 2020.