Ministry of Transport and other relevant ministries should set up a special committee to look into the root causes of road accidents instead of single out the lorry owners and drivers without facts and figures

Media Statement
Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The predicament of lorry owner Ng Fook Ming, 66 should be looked into carefully by the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Transport before barring the lorries from the roads in the coming Chinese New Year holidays and other festive periods. There are about 150,000 lorries effected by the new ruling this year.

Ng claimed that he has suffered heavy losses during the 6-day "ban from the road" exercise imposed by the Government. He wanted to know whether the Government would compensate for his losses such as fees paid for the permits, road tax and insurance for the six-day period. His drivers too were denied of their jobs over the six days. He also questioned whether barring lorries from the roads really help in reducing road accidents during the festive periods.

The ruling was enforced by the new Prime Minister as part of his effort to reduce accidents during the Hari Raya holidays. But the death tolls has reached 104 by yesterday despite 150,000 lorries were barred from the roads. It now calls for the need to embark on an in-depth study to find out the root causes of accidents, instead of single out the 150,000 lorry drivers as the main culprits. The Ministry of Transport and other relevant ministries should form a special committee to find a real solution.

While we welcome the Government's effort to reduce accidents on the road, we would like the Government to be more professional and scientific in its approach. Last Hari Raya, a total of 285 valuable lives were taken away. The number of accidents was reported as 12,239. Most of these accidents took place on both federal and state roads. (These facts and figures serve as strong indicators that one should not ignore road conditions and other road safety aspects in general). And the highest group of casualties came from motorcyclists and pillion riders.

We hope the new PM could direct the Ministry of Transport and other relevant ministries to immediately form a special committee to reduce road accidents before move lives were taken away.


* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP national publicity secretary and Selangor state chairman