KOTA KINABALU: Thirty percent of 6,706 people who perished in road accidents throughout the country last year were youngsters, said Road Transport Department (RTD) Director General Datuk Ismail Ahmad.
According to Ismail, out of 6,706 people who were killed in road accidents in the country, about 2,011 were youngsters below 25 years old.
Most of the casualties involved motorcyclists who accounted for about 60 percent, he said.
“We are taking this matter very seriously as based on the statistics it shows an average of 18 road casualties per day.
“Factors that contributed to road accidents are carelessness of the drivers such as driving over the speed limit, illegal racing, beating the traffic light, changing lane without signalling and talking on the handphone while driving to name a few.
“In an effort to reduce the number of road casualties, numerous approaches have been made to change the perception of road users and to abide by road rules and regulations.
“We also believe that such approaches can be made by targeting the youngsters through education with support from the relevant authorities.
“One of such approaches is by introducing road safety awareness campaign in schools throughout the country,” he said at a press conference at the launching of MyLesen – Road Safety Awareness Campaign (1 Pelajar, 1 Lesen, 1 Jasa) at Kota Kinabalu High School yesterday.
Also present were Road Transport Department (Sabah) director Mohd Shuhaili Mohd Taufek, Winajasa Sdn Bhd chairman Hj Yusop Awang Besar, Winajasa Sdn Bhd director C.K. Wong, Education Department co-curriculum head Mastan Gaga, Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Datuk Michael Lui Yen Sang and Persatuan Pengusaha Institut Memandu Negeri Sabah (PPIMS) chairman Willie Sondoh.
Meanwhile, Ismail said about 14.2 million people had been registered for driver’s licence by the department since 2014.
“But there are still many people, especially youngsters and those leaving in rural areas, who still drive cars or ride motorcycles without a driver’s licence.
“We believe that about 6.7 million people between 16 and 60 represent this group of people without a driver’s licence,” he said, adding that motorcyclists were the most at risk, especially without the driving licence.
“We hope through today’s programme, more youngsters especially students will register and be part of the MyLesen program as road accidents are the responsibility of everyone and not only the police or the RTD,” he said.
The objective of MyLese campaign is to raise road safety awareness towards school and college students and to promote the importance of having a proper driving licence.
The targeted audience for the program would be students from Form 4, Form 5, Lower 6 and Upper 6 and college students, he said.