Parents must monitor children’s movement

KUALA LUMPUR: Parents should always monitor their children’s movements and remind them on road safety to avoid any untoward incidents, said chairman of the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

He said fatal accidents involving children, such as in yesterday’s incident where a eight-year-old boy who was riding a bicycle was killed when knocked down by a garbage truck, could be avoided had all quarters play their respective roles.

Lee also drew attention to an incident in Johor Bahru last year where eight cyclists, aged between 13 and 16, were killed when mowed down by a car in Jalan Lingkaran Dalam. “In my opinion, parents or guardians now give unsupervised freedom to their young children and do not advise or impart to them (children) on road safety.

“Yesterday’s fatal accident happened because of several factors, including failure of parents to supervise or monitor their children and an uncaring society.

“A concerned individual who sees a child riding a bicycle in a dangerous manner or on risky road should tell off the child that it is dangerous,” he said when contacted by Bernama here yesterday. Eight-year-old Mohammad Haekal Rizal Abdullah, of Sekolah Rendah Taman Koperasi Polis Fasa 2, was riding a bicycle when a garbage truck knocked him down at Jalan Kampung Padang Balang, Sentul here yesterday.

He suffered grievous head injury and died. According to Kuala Lumpur Traffic Investigation and Enforcement chief, ACP Zulkefly Yahya, the accident occurred about 2.30pm on Saturday on a narrow single lane village road.

Lee said cycling was a healthy activity but should be carried out in a safe manner with no modification done to the machine and during suitable period and on safe road. “Children and teenagers are now keen on riding the ‘basikal lajak’ (modified bicycle) which has no brake and they race.

I have seen a group of children riding such bicycles on a busy road. It is dangerous,” he said. As such, he said, the government, parents, schools and Parent- Teacher Associations should work together to find the best way to solve the problem.- Bernama