KUCHING, Feb 12: Efforts by enforcement agencies and awareness campaigns by the private sector were praised after statistics showed a decline in deaths involving traffic accidents in 2017 as compared to 2016.
Assistant Transport Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil said intervention programmes and approaches by these agencies and private sector bodies have been very effective in spreading road safety awareness among road users in the state, and thus the minister urged them to intensify their efforts not only during festive seasons but all year round.
Speaking after officiating at the Chinese New Year 2018 Road Safety Campaign at Kuching Sentral this morning, Dr Jerip said the state recorded 400 traffic accident-related deaths in 2017, a drop of about 7 per cent compared to 2016 with 432 deaths.
Meanwhile, he said the various enforcement agencies and private sector bodies will be organising various programmes in conjunction with the coming Chinese New Year celebration to encourage road safety awareness among road users.
Among them, Puspakom Sdn Bhd will be offering free inspections to all private vehicles at all of its branches in the state from Feb 5 to 15.
“Grab this opportunity to not only ensure your car is in good working condition, but also to ensure your car is safe to drive when you ‘balik kampung’ later,” said Dr Jerip.
Apart from that, he also announced that the Royal Malaysia Police and Road Transport Department (JPJ) will be conducting joint operations Ops Selamat and Ops Bersepadu from Feb 9 till 23.
The Sarawak Road Safety Council together with the Sarawak Road Safety Department will also be conducting a joint road safety awareness programme along the Pan Borneo Highway which is still undergoing construction.
They will be carrying out Community Based Programmes (CBP) which would focus on communities near 17 accident prone hotspots along the Pan Borneo Highway stretch, Dr Jerip said.
The Public Works Department will also play a role to ensure the safety of road users along the Pan Borneo Highway, by appointing a Traffic Management Consultant through the highway’s project delivery partners, he added.
He said the consultant will evaluate the contractors’ traffic management and safety plans as well as conduct periodic evaluation and assessment of the contractors’ implementation to ensure their work would be according to the specified design.
“Should there be any road closures or diversion due to ongoing construction, a public notice will be issued via mainstream newspapers. In order for the public to forward any feedback and complaints, there are also social media platforms provided by the project delivery partners on Facebook (Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak), Twitter (@PanBorneoSwak) and Instagram (panborneohighwaysarawak),” said Dr Jerip.
On another note, Dr Jerip also said that the proposed electric-powered buses or eBuses for Kuching City under the Stage Bus Service Transformation Programme will be rolled out in mid-2019.
He said this was in line with the state’s policies and plans focusing on the environment and clean energy for public transportation.
The eBuses will be operated by members of Konsortium Bas Bandaraya Kuching (KBBK) Sdn Bhd. — DayakDaily