Keep­ing roads safe a col­lec­tive ef­fort

New Straits Times - - Letters -

SATUR­DAY, MARCH 18, 2017 I RE­FER to the re­port “Gen 2 driver was hal­lu­ci­nat­ing” (NST, March 16). Drugs and fast cars may be el­e­ments of a Hol­ly­wood movie, but it is a dis­as­ter if our driv­ers are in­volved with them.

The in­ci­dent on March 14 near But­ter­worth was un­called for and proved that the teen driver was reck­less and driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs. It was re­ported that a urine test showed that the 19-year-old part-time model was high on metham­phetamine.

I hope the in­ci­dent will serve as a les­son to all of us on the need to en­sure that our roads are free from reck­less driv­ers, es­pe­cially those who are un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol and drugs.

En­force­ment agen­cies must con­duct fre­quent checks to stop such driv­ers from en­dan­ger­ing the lives of other road users.

Pre­vi­ously, many road­blocks were held in the wee hours to nab reck­less driv­ers who were high on drugs or drunk.

Al­though some are against the use of breathal­y­sers, they should re­alise that un­der the law, en­force­ment agen­cies are al­lowed to use the de­vice to check a driver’s al­co­hol level.

Driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence is a se­ri­ous of­fence un­der the Road Trans­port Act 1987, and if it causes death or in­jury, a driver can be charged un­der Sec­tion 44 (1), which car­ries a jail term of be­tween three and 10 years, and a fine of be­tween RM8,000 and RM20,000.

The pub­lic should also alert the au­thor­i­ties if they see any­one driv­ing reck­lessly. But the pub­lic should not take the law into their own hands when an ac­ci­dent oc­curs. There have been re­ports of driv­ers in­volved in crashes be­ing at­tacked.

We should fo­cus on en­sur­ing that those who drive reck­lessly are pun­ished un­der the law.


Chair­man, Malaysian In­sti­tute of Road Safety Re­search

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