THE reaction of bus operators is really surprising and can only be described as “bizarre” in the explanation as to why companies whose vehicles had received summonses should continue with their services.
They seem to say that their services should still continue though they have been blacklisted by the Road Transport Department and have yet to settle the numerous police summonses for traffic offences.
They are of the opinion that it is all right to keep their vehicles on the road because their drivers were the ones who committed the offences. Therefore, there is no reason for them to stop their operations.
At the same time, they point out that it is normal for buses and other commercial vehicles to be given tickets for traffic offences. Is it normal too for passengers to be killed then?
This sort of argument is really mind-boggling and is it any wonder then that there are so many fatal accidents involving buses?
To them, it is not unusual for drivers with dozens of bookings for speeding and dangerous driving to continue in the job.
It is not supposed to be their business to find out whether their employees are fit to drive their buses, physically or mentally.
They can treat blacklisting and summonses and even warrants of arrest with impudence on one simple ground: lack of proper enforcement by the relevant authorities responsible for road safety.
Every time there is a fatal accident where many people are either killed or injured, the usual chorus of warnings, complaints, indignant or condemnation would appear in the media.
There would be announcements of new and tougher measures to ensure that such road fatalities are minimised. But after a while, the whole issue would die down and it would be business as usual.
This is likely to be the case with the latest accident at Bukit Gantang in which 22 passengers were killed and half a dozen others injured.
The same outrage was expressed and promises of new guidelines were made.
However, guidelines and sterner measures do not save lives lost in accidents. Only proper and firm enforcement do.
The tragedy is that no lessons would be learnt from Bukit Gantang unless all parties involved in ensuring road safety, namely, the transport ministry, JPJ, police, the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board, Puspakom and non-governmental organisations come together to tackle this serious problem.
It is futile pointing fingers as to who should be responsible for road deaths. In fact, all of them should share the responsibility and blame.
The ministry set up a Road Safety Department a few years ago to educate the public and yet the roads remain killing fields.
Traffic police have a major responsibility to enforce their summonses.
What is the use of issuing tickets to offenders without any follow-up to punish those who ignore the law?
When booking them, the officers have all the personal details of the bus drivers, including the company they work for.
It is therefore not difficult to track down such offenders to execute the warrants of arrest since their workplace is known.
COMMENT BY V.K.CHIN
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?fi ... &sec=focus