| Hakim Hayat |
THE Brunei Darussalam National Road Safety Council’s effort to instil awareness that road safety is the prime responsibility of every road user is gaining momentum.
Awg Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yusof, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications who is also the council’s chairman made this observation following an inspection of the site of a recent fatal accident.
A 21-year-old man became the country’s 18th road fatality this year when his car rammed into a large tree and burst into flames near the Damuan Recreational Park in the early hours of Thursday. No new information on the cause of the accident was revealed yesterday as the investigation is still in its early stage.
Investigators are looking into three major aspects – road infrastructure, car’s technical aspects and the environment, Awg Abdul Mutalib said.
After leading a team of officials from the Land Transport Department (LTD) and Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) to inspect the accident site, he said the road infrastructure and condition appeared to be fine.
The investigators will now focus on the car’s technicalities and driver’s attitude.
Responding to a question on the effectiveness of road safety campaigns and the demerit points system, Awg Abdul Mutalib said there was a marked improvement in awareness on road safety now compared to last year, especially after the authorities worked closer with stakeholders, including the Brunei Automobile Traders Association (BATA).
“We have more initiatives in place and we have also recently started a bi-monthly religious prayer event to seek protection from Allah the Almighty.
“Road users are also more educated on road safety, for instance, more people are now wearing safety belts,” he said.
Acting Director of Land Transport, Dr Hj Sufri Hj Ladi said the National Road Safety Seminar will be organised soon to highlight the important safety features of vehicles and how to achieve a “total safe system” which includes all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, who are more vulnerable.
New ideas and initiatives will be revealed at a major event which will be held at the end of November in conjunction with World Remembrance Day of Road Accident Victims, he said.
He said the recently-launched “Kempen Beringat-ingat” will be intensified to remind the public about road safety.
Awg Abdul Mutalib conveyed the officials’ condolences to the family of the victim of the recent accident.
He appealed to the public to be more sensitive to the feelings of the victim’s family when using social media.
“There is no need to circulate photos or personal details of the victim through WhatsApp or any other social media as this is disrespectful to the family,” he said.
The authorities will take stern measures under the law against anyone who circulates such images, he said.