Road accidents remain the leading cause of death in Brunei Darussalam, especially among youth, said Director of the Centre for Transport Research at Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) Dr Tan Soon Jiann.
Dr Tan spoke as a panellist for the forum entitled ‘Life is Not a Car Part’ held yesterday at the theatre hall of the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE), to mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR).
In conveying the bleak statistics, he said, “There were 433 injuries and 17 deaths related to traffic accidents in 2018. Out of the 17 fatalities, 10 or 59 per cent was from the age group of 19 to 38 years – the most productive population in Brunei.
“The majority of the fatalities are male road users – 12, or 71 per cent of the total number. Most of the victims are car occupants, which is nine fatalities or 83 per cent of the accident fatalities from last year,” Dr Tan added.
The forum was held as Pillar 3 in the Global Plan for the Decade of the Action Plan for Road Safety in 2011-2020.
Other panellists were Director General of the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) Dr Siti Zaharah binti Ishak; Director of Land Transport and Head of the Secretariat of Brunei National Road Safety Council (MKKJR) Haji Rozaly bin Haji Saidon; and Executive Advisor of Megamas Training Company Sdn Bhd Mohd Roger Ainsworth.
The moderator was Hajah Rozaidah binti Haji Abdul Rahman.
Meanwhile, Haji Rozaly said, “The responsibility for road safety does not rely only on the government and the MKKJR, but more importantly, on the road users.
“When they are reminded on the importance of safeguarding of lives and ethical driving, as well as complying with road traffic law, Insya Allah, accidents – including fatalities – can be reduced or eradicated.”
Guest of honour Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof, who launched Road Safety Week for 2019 in his capacity as Chairman to the MKKJR was present.
The forum, jointly organised by the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) and the MKKJR, also saw the launching of the Road Safety Video Competition, which is open for public participation until January 31, 2020.
Deputy Minister of Development and Deputy Chairman of the MKKJR Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin; and Acting Director of the Royal Brunei Police Force’s (RBPF) Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Hassan bin Pehin Penyurat Haji Ahmad; Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary (Transport, Research and Development) at the MTIC and Secretary of the MKKJR Pengiran Haji Mohd Zain bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Razak; and Managing Director of Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) Dr Ceri Powell were also present.