PETALING JAYA: Strapping on a helmet correctly can save a motorcyclist's life.
This "safety first" and not "safety last" attitude is being emphasised in Road Safety Department (RSD) programmes in 150 districts nationwide.
RSD director-general Datuk Suret Singh said the programme aimed to further improve the travelling habits of Malaysians, especially in rural areas.
"Only 40 to 50 per cent of motorcyclists in rural areas use their helmets, compared with 90 per cent in urban areas. Of this, only a third use their helmets correctly."
Suret was speaking after the launch of the "Sponsor a Helmet, Save a Life" campaign run under the National Helmet Initiative, a joint effort by RSD and the National Road Safety Council.
"The programme is an important step in helping to reduce the daily average of fatalities and serious injuries among motorcyclists and pillion riders."
Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat said the high 60 per cent mortality rate among motorcyclists was due to severe head injuries.
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