Drive carefully this Hari Raya, says Malaysian minister

Drive carefully this Hari Raya, says Malaysian minister
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

KUALA LUMPUR - This Hari Raya, let us work together to return home and come back to work safely, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

"If you are looking forward to returning home for Hari Raya, please drive carefully and reach your destination safely.

"If you don't, then the whole family will not have a reason to celebrate anymore," said Liow who launched Ops Hari Raya Aidilfitri (HRA) at Terminal Bandar Selatan yesterday.

He expressed sorrow at the perennial accidents that have occurred during festive exoduses.

The police, he added, recorded 258 and 217 deaths during the Hari Raya period in 2013 and last year.

Liow said his ministry would continue to play its part in keeping roads safe, adding that Ops HRA would continue until July 25.

Liow added that some 1,800 Road Safety Department (JPJ) officers were deployed at static locations to enforce the operation.

"In addition, 1,000 members of Skuad Muda 1JPJ will support the operation."

Speed limit on roads, said Liow, would be reduced by 10kph.

"The speed limit for federal roads will be dropped to 80kph whereas state roads will be dropped to 70kph," he said.

Also, cargo vehicles would not be allowed on the roads this Wednesday and Thursday and between July 24 and July 25.

"Apart from avoiding the traffic jam, this is to reduce the risk of collision between heavy and light-weight vehicles," said Liow.

He also reminded rear passengers to "belt up", revealing that the move only saw 9 per cent compliance rate thus far.

"We have implemented it since 2009, but according to the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, only 7 per cent to 9 per cent use their rear seat belts," he said.

To ensure passengers practised safe driving habits this coming festive season, JPJ and the police would start enforcing the rear seat belt ruling, said Liow.

He debunked claims that the ministry would enforce child seats in 2017. He said the devices cost from RM750 (S$267.19) to RM4,000 each, and was a burden to many parents.

"We understand it is expensive, that is why we are not enforcing it yet.

"However, the ministry encourages their use as they keep children safe during the ­journey."

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