The killing season is here again.Every festive season Malaysians would go on a rampage on the nation's highways killing and maiming themselves and other road users.
The Asia-Pacific region has the highest road fatalities in the world taking 44 percent of the world total where only 16 percent of the total world vehicles are found.Malaysia gets top marks for this shameful state of affair.It has got the highest fatalities per capita in the world.Certainly, not something to be proud of.
It has become part of their daily ritual to break the law whenever the 'mata-mata' is not around. The car instead of being a vehicle of convenience had become a vehicle of death and destruction.
In Kota Kinabalu, about 2 weeks ago, three doctors were killed and one seriously injured when the car they were in slammed into the back of a bus, overturning the bus and killing one passenger.
Speeding, overtaking using road shoulder to beat the queue, overtaking on double line,jumping the red light and other breaches of the law are common occurrences on Malaysian roads.
If stupid is too harsh a word to describe Malaysian motorists sense of road courtesy than stupid it would be.It is common for Malaysians to give way to those that break the law, the queue jumpers.Try queue jumping in the West, you'll swear by your grandmother's grave that you wouldn't do it again.
Another cause of fatalities are overloading, especially in small towns and rural areas.
A while ago, two Kancils collided head on, there were 15 passengers in the two cars.In this recent accident where 4 people were killed, there were 6 passengers in a Proton Wira.How the hell can you accommodate seven people in a Kancil?
It's about time the government enforce strict adherence that vehicle can only carry the maximum number of passengers specified by the manufacturers and makes it illegal to exceed the allowed limit.
Poor maintenance is another death call for Malaysian motorists.Some can afford to buy the car but have not enough money to maintain it thus jeopardising its road worthiness.
Adding to the problem is wrong enforcement by the police.Police mount regular road blocks not to educate motorists on the needs to observe the law and drive safely or check the road worthiness of the vehicles, they are only interested in checking 'road taxes', whether paid or not.
Every festive season the police would also dispatch hundreds of policemen to have their 'Ops this' and 'Ops that', to try reduce fatal road accidents but these "Ops" have turned out to be an exercises in futility.In its current "Ops Sikap" the death toll to date stands at 28 deaths out of 938 accidents.
The source of this tragic situation are no other than the driving schools and JPJ (Road Vehicle Dept).Bad schooling and corruptions.
A complete overhaul of the driving schools in this country and wiping out corruptions within the department responsible for issuing driver's licence are long overdue.Those who failed their tests and pay 'coffee money' through their tutors to get their "KOPI O" licences are the bad drivers and are more likely to be involved in accidents.
Good driving habits start at school, therefore, it would be good idea if the name and permit number of the driving school be registered on the driver's licence to enable the authorities to identify the bad apples.Driving school that produced high accident rate among its students should be struck off.
Related articles(updated):Shock for motorists using emergency lane