Malaysia has been ranked as one of the top three countries in the world with the deadliest roads
A report by Bloomberg on 20 June cited statistics from World Health Organisation (WHO) for 2013, stating that Malaysia is among the emerging countries with the riskiest roads after Thailand and South Africa.
Thailand made it to the top of the list with a death rate of 36.2 per 100,000 population. The other two countries in the Southeast Asia region into the top 20 list, namely Indonesia and the Philippines, registered a 15 and 11 death rate respectively.
"Road users in low- and middle-income countries are more than twice as likely to die in a traffic accident than their counterparts in developed nations," read the report.
For a nation that is aspiring to become a developed country, Malaysia should look towards decreasing its traffic-related death rate
According to the data, Malaysia registered a death rate of about 23 per 100,000 population. Based on this statistic against the estimated population of 30 million Malaysians, about 7,000 to 8,000 people in the country die on the roads every year.
The fatality rate on Malaysian roads is still considered to be very high and it should be improved because it is very close to average rate among low-income nations.
Bloomberg reported that the average for developed nations is 9.3, while the rate for low-income and middle-income countries are 24.1 and 18.4 respectively.
A quick check on the report by Bloomberg shows that it is also consistent with the data presented by the Transport Ministry earlier this year
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai revealed in January that a total of 7,152 people died in road accidents in Malaysia in the year 2016. This was an increase from the total of 6,706 deaths that was recorded in the year 2015.
Liow also said that most of the deaths (62.7%) involved motorcyclists.
"A total of 80.6% of the road accidents are caused by human error," he added.
He was citing a research by the Malaysian Institute Road Safety Research (MIROS) that shows that the main reason accidents happened was attributed to people driving recklessly or ignoring traffic rules, instead of road and vehicle conditions.
Meanwhile, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) has set up a hotline for the public to report any errant drivers for breaking traffic rules, especially during this festive season
Reports can be made by sending a WhatsApp message to JPJ (+6011-5111 5252) so that the authorities can act accordingly.
Members of the public should include as many details as they can in the report, such the location, time, and the offences committed. They should also include a picture that depicts the alleged offence if possible.
"Once we receive the message, we will alert our men on the ground and immediate action will be taken," said JPJ director of enforcement Datuk V. Valluvan, as reported by NST.
What do you think can be done to ensure the safety of road users in Malaysia? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
Speaking of which, remember to drive safely and take note of these traffic rules or risk getting an expensive summon: