Transport Minister: Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers

Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin

KUCHING, May 30: In addition to the vehicle driver, it is mandatory for passengers in both the front and back seats to wear seat belts, said Sarawak Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin.

He also put forth other reminders to road users, which included driving within the speed limit and reducing speed when encountering a bend; noting that there will be roadblocks in selected areas by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and police, and avoid having young children in the front seats of the vehicle as a precaution as young children are more likely to get thrown out of the vehicle’s windshield during head-on crashes.

He also cautioned that heavily pregnant women should avoid sitting in the front seat of vehicles to prevent severe mishaps in the event of accidents, and car owners are advised not to let windows open to prevent young children from putting their hands and heads out of the car’s windows.

Motorists are advised to park their cars at lay-by if they need to rest and not along the path of oncoming traffic, while motorcyclists are advised to wear reflective vests besides wearing the approved crash helmets and avoid overtaking vehicles in heavy traffic. 

Lee also issued a stern reminder that “speed kills”.

“All drivers who intend to ‘balik kampung’ (return to their hometowns) by cars, pick-up trucks, and motorcycles must ensure that their vehicles and machines are checked thoroughly before starting their long journey.

“All drivers should stop driving when they experience fatigue or are tired and feeling drowsy. Drive carefully and arrive safely to meet and celebrate Gawai with your loved ones,” he said.

He said since Covid-19 is still around, all travelling passengers should take care of their hygiene by wearing face masks and applying hand sanitiser whenever necessary.

“If there is a demand for more bus services, express bus companies can apply to the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) and JPJ for additional bus services during this Gawai season,” said Lee.

On riverine transport, he said the Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) has started carrying out enforcement operations throughout Sarawak effective May 28, 2022, as part of the first phase of the operation at all passenger boat terminals, longboat landing facilities, and major rivers.

The second phase of the operation will commence from June 3 to 5, with 72 officers from SRB, and 15 enforcement boats will be deployed to ensure all passengers register at the counter before they are allowed into the departure area.

This is ensure that there is no overloading and that all passengers wear their life jackets during the journey. 

“If there is a demand for more express boat services, operators can apply to the SRB for additional trips,” said Lee. — DayakDaily