Malaysia lost an estimated RM9 billion annually due to road accidents

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KUALA LUMPUR, (May 13) (Bernama) — The attitude of impatience, ‘haste culture’ speeding and weaving in and out of traffic among Malaysian road users must be changed to bring about fewer accidents in the country, said National Road Safety Council member Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

He said that road safety campaigns, though necessary, would not work unless road users learned to observe basic rules on safety and courtesy and change their irresponsible and cavalier attitude while on the road. “They realise the hazards on the road, yet they react differently when they’re driving, putting their lives and others at risk when they treat expressways and roads as Formula 1 race tracks,” Lee said in a statement today.

He noted that the country lost an estimated RM9 billion annually due to road accidents through repairs, insurance and medical bills. “And it has been identified through studies that more than half of road accidents involve those between the ages of 18 and 40 who make up the most important asset in the nation,” he said. Lee said 414,421 road accidents were reported in 2010 as compared to 397,330 in 2009, an increase of 4.3 per cent.

The number of road deaths also increased by two per cent to 6,872 in 2010 compared to 6,745 in 2009. He also pointed out that traffic-related motor vehicle crashes were one of the leading causes of work-related injuries and deaths. “The fact is that there are people who haven’t learnt from the gruesome pictures of mangled vehicles, dead bodies, groaning victims and their grieving families,” he added.