SUNGAI BULOH: Youths between the ages of 18 and 25 face the highest risk of dying in road accidents, said Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.
“There were 6,872 deaths due to road accidents recorded last year. Youths made up 40% of the total number of deaths,” said Abdul Rahim, adding that most were motorcyclists and their pillion riders.
He said although factors like road safety awareness and motorist maturity contributed to fatal road accidents among youths, there must be a study conducted on social related problems such as drug abuse and late night loitering.
“We must find out why youths are putting themselves at such risk on the roads. Although students have road safety as part of their subjects in school, we must increase their awareness of them being at risk,” he said after launching the Malaysian chapter of the Global Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 at the Sungai Buloh rest stop yesterday.
This is a worldwide campaign initiated as a United Nations General Assembly resolution adopted on May 2, aimed at halving the annual 1.2 million road deaths globally by 2020.
Malaysia is the road safety chair for the Asean Multi-Sectoral Working Group on Road Safety.
Abdul Rahim said injuries from road accidents in the country had fallen in the past two years from 31,417 cases in 2009 to 28,269 last year.
“This 6.2% reduction is significant because the number of registered vehicles on the road has risen from 19 million in 2009 to 20.1 million last year.
“The number of drivers has also increased from 11.6 million to 12.2 million at the same time. This means we have achieved a reduction in injuries from accidents although the risk has actually increased with the rise in vehicle and driver numbers,” he added.
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