KOTA KINABALU – Malaysian government spent RM9 billion every year to treat road accident victims.
This was disclosed by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) director-general Datuk Seri Ismail Ahmad.
“In economic terms, the government has to foot a RM1.2 million for each death,” he said in his speech at the handing over of appointment letter to 1JPJ Youth Squad Sabah at Kota Kinabalu International Airport, here yesterdayday.
The 1JPJ Youth Squad was established in 2013 aim to help the country to reduce the high rate of road accidents and its associated fatalities.
“This is a very serious matter as the death leads to the creation of widows, widowers and orphans, ” he said.
According to Ismail the total fatalities last year were 6,650 people with the total accidents of 480,000 cases.
“In line with this I hope the community will work together with the RTD as well as with the police traffic as a team to do our part to support the government’s efforts in minimising road accidents,” he said.
A total of 43,142 youths joined the 1JPJ Youth Squad of the Road Transport Department (RTD) throughout Malaysia.
“For Sabah there are 3,291 members and we hope that this will increase soon. Our aim is to have 300,000 squad members,” he said.
He said the RTD hoped to rope in more members to create a society who is concerned for the safety of road users.
“I believe that implementation and enforcement such as roadblocks do help in reducing the risk of accidents. However, educating the public on the importance of safety on the road is crucial,” he said.
Ismail disclosed out that a new syllabus will be introduce for people who wants to get driving licence that will ensure a more competent and responsible future drivers.
Apart from that RTD is actively conducting various road safety awareness programmes to encourage more youths to join the squad.
The government’s move to involve squad members in the operation as part of the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) where RTD enforcement personnel are stationed with 1JPJ Youth Squad at certain locations.
“The squad member duty is to give advice and awareness on road safety to road users, they don’t have the authority to issue summons; that is the RTD enforcement personnel duties,” he said. – By Fizah Yusof/SayangSabah