PUTRAJAYA: About 2,200 Road Transport Department (RTD) enforcement personnel will go on duty to ensure traffic safety of road users during the Chinese New Year (CNY).

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong(pix) said today that among the initiatives taken by the RTD is placing its undercover personnel as passengers in express buses to monitor drivers driving habits.

He said the RTD will also carry out surveillance through enforcement based stations (EBS) at 14 locations along expressways and implement the “perception of being caught” (POBC) initiative.

Wee said the other initiatives the RTD will conduct are special operations on motorcyclists and a pre-operation to inspect the roadworthiness of express buses at 75 depots and 28 bus terminals.

Wee, who today launched the Road Safety Campaign and “Ops Bersepadu” here in conjunction with the CNY and themed “Drive Carefully, Arrive Safely”, said heavy vehicles transporting goods will be disallowed from plying the road two days before and two days after CNY to avoid mishaps with light vehicles and avert traffic congestion.

The campaign will run between Jan 25 and Feb 8.

The minister also launched Malaysian Road Safety Plan 2022-2030 today with a vision to realise “zero deaths from road accidents in Malaysia”, raise road safety standards and protect the welfare of road users.

Wee said the plan was to reduce cases of death and injury from road accidents by 50% in line with a resolution adopted in a United Nations General Assembly in August, 2020.

He said road crashes not only risk death and injury but result in economic losses such as vehicle repair, restitution and medical costs.

Wee said it also has a negative impact on the road transport system such as causing traffic congestion, time loss and loss of income.

He said under “Ops Selamat 16” held during the 2020 CNY, there were 230 deaths and 23,208 accidents recorded.

“The death of 230 road users in two weeks is a worrying number. This indicates that the level of road safety literacy among the community has not achieved a level we can be proud of.

“While we continue fighting Covid-19, it is crucial that our health system is not burdened with high number of deaths from road accidents. Let us take measures to avoid accidents by complying with traffic laws,“ he said.

Wee said lesser traffic movement due to the movement control order (MCO) that was implemented in 2020 and last year led to a sharp decline of road accident deaths by 25% in comparison with the statistics of previous years.

He said in 2020, 418,237 accident cases and 4,634 deaths were recorded while last year, there were 255,532 accidents and 3,302 deaths.