MIRI (20 December): With the easing of Covid-19 movement restrictions, the number of road accidents across the state has increased, necessitating continued campaigns to educate road users on road safety and behaviour.
According to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Sing, the number of road accidents this year has increased by 40.3% to 17,824 from 12,706 in 2021.
“In contrast, the number of road accident cases including fatal accidents, serious accidents, minor accidents and collision damage in 2021 appears to be lower than in 2022 as the country remains under the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“However, after the country’s economy reopened and safety restrictions eased, people started moving around more.
“It is important to note that as the number of road users increases, the probability of accidents will also be higher,” he told reporters in Permyjaya yesterday after launching a state-level road safety campaign at a Petronas station.
Regarding the types of injuries reported in road traffic accidents, Lee noted that there will be an increase of 18.2 percent, or 145, from 798 in 2021 to 943 this year.
He added that the number of deaths increased from 299 in 2021 to 350 in 2022; the number of serious injuries increased from 159 in 2021 to 223 in 2022; the number of minor injuries increased from 340 in 2021 to 2022 from 370.
“Those who will drive long distances this Christmas or next month’s Lunar New Year, please check the vehicle before the long journey; take a good rest before driving; and also take breaks between stops, because the long drive will be very tiring,” he reminded road.
Lee also revealed that in order to address road traffic accidents in the state, road safety committees have been established in each subdivision across Sarawak, and each subdivision road safety committee will be chaired by residents.
He said the committee would work with representatives from local governments, the Ministry of Roads and Transport (JPJ), residents’ offices, police and the Ministry of Public Works (JKR) to develop plans to reduce road accidents.
He also said his department and the Divisional Road Safety Committee had earlier launched the Awareness Behavior Change (ABC) program to educate road users on their attitudes and behavior on the road.
“Road traffic accidents are mostly caused by human factors due to the attitude of road users such as failure to obey the rules, reckless driving/cycling, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs; therefore, the focus of the scheme It is about changing the attitude and behavior of road users,” Lee said.
Also present were State Judiciary Police Commissioner Norrisan Kili, Miri Judiciary Police Commissioner Fifi Suhsti Hasteh Mooney and Miri Police Deputy Commissioner Mohd Sabri Zaino.