Friday, June 25

Cops to come down hard on stubborn road users

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Wong (left) helps a motorcyclist to put on the safety helmet as Mazlan (second left) and Koo (right) look on.

Wong (left) helps a motorcyclist to put on the safety helmet as Mazlan (second left) and Koo (right) look on.

Mazlan (third left) helps a motorcyclist to buckle up her helmet as Koo (right) looks on.

Mazlan (third left) helps a motorcyclist to buckle up her helmet as Koo (right) looks on.

A policeman pinning down an ‘armed robbery suspect’ during the launch of ‘Ops Selamat’.

A policeman pinning down an ‘armed robbery suspect’ during the launch of ‘Ops Selamat’.

SIBU: Alarmed and saddened by the increase in number of road accidents across the state, newly minted state police chief Datuk Mazlan Tan Sri Mansor wants such cases reduced.

He wants strict enforcement and prompt legal action against stubborn road users as the number of road accidents rose 7.95 per cent from 5,977 cases in the first four months of 2015 to 6,452 cases in the corresponding period this year.

For a start, he has stationed 750 policemen in 60 hotspots—39 on federal roads and 21 on state roads—for the ‘Ops Selamat’ campaign in conjunction with the coming Gawai Dayak.

The campaign, which started yesterday and ends June 8, is themed ‘Home Safely, Reach Destination Safely’. It was launched at Sibu Central Market yesterday.

“We will use the Motorcycle Patrol Unit to monitor residential areas, use air surveillance and set up canopies at 60 strategic locations state-wide.”

Besides on-the-spot enforcement, police would also distribute flyers to educate road users.

A total of 582 accidents were recorded during ‘Ops Selamat’ from May 25 to June 8 in 2014. But for the corresponding period last year, the figure jumped to 645 cases, an increase of 10.8 per cent.

“There were 15 deaths in 2014 and 17 deaths in 2015 (during the operation).”

Mazlan, the former Bukit Aman Crime Investigation Department deputy director who replaced Datuk Seri Muhammad Sabtu Osman on May 16, said loss of lives due to road accidents was distressing to the affected families and posed a significant economic loss to the country.

Despite many awareness campaigns and reminders, the attitude of motorists in general remained unchanged, he noted.

“Most drivers tend to disobey traffic rules by taking unnecessary risks like exceeding speed limit, overtaking dangerously, failing to stop at red light, and stopping their vehicles in prohibited areas.

“They forgot that such attitude is not only harmful to themselves but others.”

‘Ops Selamat’ will also focus on preventing housebreakings. Mazlan advised home owners leaving for the Gawai Dayak holiday to notify police.

Apart from informing the neighbourhood watch, those returning to their hometowns could also inform police by downloading the ‘balik kampung’ form at the PDRM portal http://www.rmp.gov.my/ so that police patrols could be carried out in their neighbourhood, he said.

Also present at the event were Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, Sibu Municipal Council deputy chairman Dato Andrew Wong and deputy Sibu police chief Superintendent Martin Koo.