As cityfolks and vehicles return to the city after the Chinese New Year break, authorities are left to ponder what else they can do to lower the road death rate in the country following yet another period of high rate of recorded accidents on our roads.
The Malaysian Highway Authority observed that traffic was already slowing down considerably on all major highways leading into Kuala Lumpur indicating the return of holiday makers and the usual migration back to the city before the working week begins.
Our call to Bukit Aman’s Traffic Chief could not confirm the number of accidents or deaths on the road as statistics are still to be finalised. Our request for the number of road accidents along with fatalities was turned down.
From news reports alone, there seems to be road deaths recorded daily. On our test ride to Penang on the KTM1050 Adventure, our writer was caught up in a one kilometer traffic jam caused by a road fatality involving a motorcyclist and a car near Gua Tempurung. In that incident, the Fire Department had just arrived to clean up the accident site which involved hosing down the blood stained spot, where as both the vehicles as well as the remains had already been removed. Its a gory sight for anyone, when you have to drive past in slow speed with bright red blood spots and pieces of human remains.
Although we are reminded daily about these tragedies, motorists seems unfazed by it all. Motorcyclists who make up the highest number of victims seem to think that they are invincible, with many of them breaking the law. Traffic lights do not seem to apply to them and overtaking on both sides seems to be something normal.
What we must do is to discipline ourselves especially when we get behind the wheels. Only then, with the right attitude that we can collectively do our part to lower these unnecessary deaths. We must do this step by step, and the first starts from us as individuals.