Speeding on the rise, says MKKJR

James Kon

A total of 1,280 violations involving driving over the speed limit were recorded from January to October, an upward trend from 700 cases in 2020, according to statistics from the Traffic Control and Investigation Department (JSKLL) of the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF).

The figures were shared by the Brunei Darussalam National Road Safety Council (MKKJR) in its statement on Road Safety Achievements and Initiatives 2020/2021 yesterday.

The MKKJR said it is the drivers’ responsibility to follow the rules and regulations to maintaining safety.

The authorities and enforcement agencies have implemented various efforts, such as conducting roadblock operations more frequently, raising compound fines, and reviewing speed limits by following current trends and best practices around the world.

According to MKKJR, the council was established on November 17, 1977 with the aim of maintaining and improving the level of road safety in the Sultanate.

In line with the road safety strategic plan for Brunei Darussalam 2025, MKKJR will continue to lead the efforts in improving road safety standards and reducing accident rates, especially involving fatalities. The efforts will be implemented following the core priority by building effective enforcement mechanisms; developing strong legal and regulatory infrastructures; strengthening leadership and governance; effective collection and access of data; and applying the use of technology.

In 2020, the MKKJR launched the Brunei Darussalam Road Safety Strategic Plan 2025, which contains 48 key initiatives targetted for implementation in 2020-2025.

From the key initiatives listed under three main programmes – Strategic Outcomes (SO), Strategic Pillars (SP) and Strategic Enablers (SE) – and divided into 139 project sub-initiatives, 17 projects were implemented in the first year of implementation.

The strategic plan is a continuation and update of the Blueprint Decade of Action For Road Safety 2011-2020 declared on August 31, 2020 by the United Nations (UN) with the aim of reducing fatalities and injuries from road accidents by as much as 50 per cent by 2030.

This was followed by Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 officially launched on October 28 with the collaboration of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN through the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC), in line with the Sultanate’s ‘Road Safety Strategic Plan 2025 towards Zero Fatality in Road Accidents’ vision.

The Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 was also adopted during the 26th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting through the Brunei Declaration on Road Safety 2020, which called for continued cooperation and commitment in the ASEAN region to reduce fatalities and injuries from road accidents in ASEAN member countries.

Throughout 2021, MKKJR has implemented and currently planning several initiatives, such as conducting road safety awareness briefings involving the public and private sectors, with a focus on accident statistics, ethical driving and regulations; launching the e-guidebook Understanding Your Vehicle in vehicle care and maintenance on March 6 during the Road Safety Roadshow with Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd from May 25 to 26; hosting a special forum in conjunction with World Day of Remembrance in December; and organising vehicle safety awareness programme or car clinics to address issues related to vehicle fires that have recently occurred frequently.

The car clinics serve as a reminder and provide awareness to the public especially road users on vehicle care and safety issues.

MKKJR has also continuously organised events such as a press conference every mid-year to review and update the statistics on road accidents and to stress the importance of always complying with traffic rules; the ‘Tell Everyone Road Safety Outreach’ programme targetted at youth by focussing on delivering key road safety messages; and Sunnat Hajat prayer ceremony and recitation of Ratib Al-Attas once every two months to raise awareness and pray for road users’ safety.

The council also enhances efforts to promote and increase road safety culture by various means including through mass media such as television and radio, social media, government counters and websites on an ongoing basis; delivering road safety messages through Friday sermons; and activities and programmes in conjunction with the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, an international initiative to commemorate the victims of road traffic held in November each year.

Taking into account the developments towards digital transformation in the country, the Centre for Transport Research (CfTR) at Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) implemented a real-time database development project named Road Accident Data Development and Enhancement (RADED).

The project serves to provide more in-depth data analysis and statistics as support in strategising road safety initiatives.