| | | Effective PR

Startling figures in Malaysian M/C crashes

Editorial Staff

Almost three quarters of victims in fatal motorcycle accidents in Malaysia are between 15 and 25 year old. And that's not the most shocking statistic released by the Road Safety Department.

About five years ago, a Malaysian public service announcement (PSA) on TV said that some 80% of accidents involving motorcycles were the fault of the car driver. Anyone who has been on Malaysian roads, with the serious lack of regard for safety, law and even vehicle operations such as working lights knew that to be nonsense.

And a few months later it was proved to be so: after the addition of motorcycle-only lanes, the number of crashes involving motorcycles remained constant: they simply ran into each other. The ad quietly disappeared.

Recently a new range of PSAs has begun targeting bad riding by motorcyclists. The favoured battleground is riding through red lights - behaviour so common that hardly anyone even moans about it any more. It's not even close to the most dangerous: riding the wrong way along motorways, riding at 40-50kph on pavements, dodging between lanes without warning - all of these and more are why motorcyclists get into accidents and get killed.

Where do they learn their riding skills? The answer is that they don't: the report from the Road Safety Department has one last, shocking, statistic: 40% of those killed do not have a valid driving licence.

JPJ, the licensing authority, conducts frequent spot checks - it is a common sight to see a dozen or so motorcyclists lined up for a document check.

But even that is not enough to make Malaysia's motorcyclists behave in a legal and responsible fashion.

It is not likely that they read the papers or pay attention to the PSAs if the threat of a fine for failing to have a licence has minimal impact.