Better Laws And Planning Will Reduce Road Deaths Say Experts


 
Former deputy transport minister Aziz Kaprawi said the public will not take summonses seriously if the government continues to give discounts for traffic violations. (Bernama pic)PETALING JAYA: Experts say better infrastructure could help to reduce road deaths, particularly those involving motorcyclists, as traffic summonses do not work to enforce traffic laws.
Former deputy transport minister Aziz Kaprawi said it was clear that traffic summonses were ineffective at promoting safe driving.
“People don’t care about them. They don’t fear the consequences and so they don’t feel like they need to follow the rules, particularly the youngsters,” he told FMT. “It doesn’t help that the government gives out discounts for traffic violations, so they aren’t really taken seriously.”
Yesterday, traffic investigation and enforcement department chief assistant director Bakri Zainal Abidin said reducing traffic-related deaths was a constant struggle, despite efforts by the police.
Aziz Kaprawi.“No less than 15,000 summonses are handed out a day for all road-traffic sectors in Malaysia, but the number of deaths is still not decreasing,” he said at a press conference on Thursday.
Aziz said building more dedicated motorcycle lanes could help to prevent dangerous situations, as could limits on where motorcyclists can ride.
“There needs to be stricter regulations on motorcyclists, who suffer the most road fatalities. For example, we could restrict them to only the emergency lane or the first lane.
“In some countries, they don’t even allow motorcyclists on certain highways.”
Law Teik Hua of Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) Road Safety Research Centre agreed that summonses were ineffective.
He said enforcing the demerit system and making it more visible to drivers would pose a better deterrent to wayward motorists.
“Authorities must also identify loopholes in road design to curb ‘against-traffic’ driving, and conduct investigations to find areas that are accident prone and solve the underlying issues.”
He also criticised the offer of discounts on summonses and called the whole system “extremely forgiving” to motorists.
“Consequently, this makes traffic enforcement approaches inefficient to address aggressive road user behaviour,” Law said. - FMT


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