KUCHING: What else can the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) do to reduce road accidents in Sarawak and in Malaysia, asked Sarawak Commissioner of Police (CP) Datuk Ramli Din.

“What else can we do? (Discount for) summonses have already been paid, we have assigned officers to places that are identified to be accident prone, campaigns and programmes were also carried out.

“In addition, we have already identified 56 hotspots in Sarawak, places that are accident risks and we have assigned officers to the areas to help to curb it regardless of the festive seasons,” he said, sharing that ‘Ops Selamat’ conducted during festive seasons in Sarawak had recorded 15 deaths in 2018 and for last year, 20 deaths were recorded.

Ramli noted that the number of road accidents increased annually as well as the summonses.

“It (summonses) is one of the methods which PDRM and the Road Transport Department (JPJ) used to educate road users and help reduce the road accident rate.

“Look at the times where we have discounts (for summonses), millions of ringgit were collected and it is not for us (the police). All these discounts, but still it does not have any effect on them,” he said when officiating at the closing of the Road Safety Awareness Campaign Programme at the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) auditorium yesterday.

Ramli further mentioned that some motorists might be careful on the road but there would be other road users who were reckless, driving drunk, running red lights and so on.

He then shared the statistics of road accidents in Malaysia involving critical injuries while travelling home from work for 2019, which recorded 1,117 cases.

“Of which 512 cases were commuting between 6am and 10am, and 605 cases were recorded during work hours between 4pm and 8pm.

“This figure shows an increase of 38 cases compared to 1,079 cases for 2018. While fatalities on the way home and away from work are 2,279 cases in 2019, compared to 2,098 cases recorded in 2018, which shows an increase of 181 cases,” he shared, reminding everyone to always prioritise safety before embarking on a journey.

“In addition, avoid the rush to get to work, which can lead to unwanted incidents while on the road. Keep in mind, if anyone is drowsy and overly tired, take time to rest before starting or continuing a journey, so that one’s driving will be more focused and safe.”

The one-day programme was a continuous initiative by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and PDRM in collaboration with MBKS, in raising public awareness at all levels in order to improve the road safety aspect.

The campaign also focused on areas that have been identified as the area of frequent road accidents, the PDRM G-40 blackspot area, in an effort to reduce accidents and fatalities.

During the event, CP Ramli advised the participants to be prudent, be on constant alert when driving on the road, and abide by road laws and traffic lights. On behalf of PDRM, he also presented 150 helmets and safety jackets to the participants of the programme.