ADVOCATING ROAD SAFETY ALONE 'NOT ENOUGH'
Malaysia's Road Transport Department (JPJ) is determined to halve the number of traffic-related deaths by 2020 and will continue strict enforcement of traffic laws to ensure road safety, even if it incurs the public's wrath in doing so.
"If we don't take stern action now, the annual rate of road deaths may increase to 10,716 by 2020.
"JPJ aims to minimise that projection by about 50 per cent to 5,358 road deaths per year," said JPJ director-general Ismail Ahmad, adding that it was his duty and he would do so even if it made him unpopular.
Mr Ismail acknowledged that some quarters were unhappy with the ongoing crackdown against vehicles with strobe lights, non-regulation number plates and high intensity discharge (HID) lights, reported Malaysia's The Star.
He said advocating road safety alone was not enough, as motorists needed to be educated and disciplined into obeying the law and driving safely on the road.
Mr Ismail said penalising errant motorists for minor offences was a way of disciplining and deterring them from committing potentially fatal offences.
"Last year, 6,915 in 477,500 accidents resulted in death. In Malaysia, one of the biggest causes of death are traffic-related offences," he said.
Mr Ismail added that JPJ, in collaboration with the Land Public Transport Commission and the police, have issued 5,000 summonses to motorists for using vehicles with strobe lights, non-regulation number plates and HID lights.