THE new Road Safety Education module (PKJR) to be inserted into the Bahasa Melayu subject will be introduced in all primary schools by 2019.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said the module which includes graphics, highway codes and safety guidelines among others will be taught for two periods a week by trained road safety teachers in 1,264 primary schools throughout Sarawak.
He said this during his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly here yesterday.
“Apart from education on road safety, Road Safety Department (JKJR) also conducts joint advocacy programmes with the Social Security Organisation (Socso) on safe commute to workplaces, community road safety awareness programmes with Lebuhraya Borneo Utara (LBU) in high traffic areas, Safe Roads Programme for Youths in rural areas such as Kapit, Lawas, Baram and Long Lama.
“In efforts to harmonize the standards of our roads, the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) metrics are being adopted as measures to maximize the reduction of traffic crash trauma.
“Road safety curriculum for lower secondary school students is currently being developed focusing on character development and behavioral for would-be drivers,” Masing added.
Masing, who is also Minister for Inftastructure Development and Transport, said studies have shown that drivers who have better knowledge and understanding of their journeys have lower risk in getting into an accident.
He said as such, safe driving programme was introduced to commodity and manufacturing transporters in Miri and Bintulu.
He pointed out that as Sarawak’s road network continues to expand and improve, road safety remains a major concern in Sarawak.
“In spite of significant improvements in road engineering and vehicle safety features, the current number of deaths and injuries remains unacceptably high,” he said noting that an average of 50 traffic accidents occurred daily in 2017 with a total of 432 lives lost resulting in an estimated RM561 million losses to Sarawak.
“From January to June this year, 165 fatal road accidents were reported. Compared to the same period in 2017, the number of fatal road accidents this year, although down by 25 cases (which in equivalent to 13 per cent reduction), is simply not good enough as lives are involved.
“Human factor remains a major aspect in road safety. Because 80 per cent of traffic accidents are caused by reckless driving, it is important to implement measures directed at specific target groups of road users in order to change their behaviours,” Masing said.
He said in this respect, the Road Safety Council is continuously conducting safety campaigns.
Apart from road engineering and enforcement measures, he believed education plays an important role in shaping the right attitude among the younger generation so that they could become responsible riders, drivers, passengers and pedestrians.