1 Accident Reduction
The Minister of Transport Dato Sri Kong Chor Ha in defending AES said the objective is to reduce accidents and not for the two private companies, ATES Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd to make profits.
2 AES Does Not Address the Causes of Accidents
If the Minister of Transport is serious in reducing road accidents then he ought to address the real causes of accidents. AES does not address the real causes of accidents. The Minister of Transport must be well aware that there is rarely an accident in which only one thing or person is the sole cause of the accident. Speeding is not the sole cause of accidents. The causes of accidents are generally a combination three basic factors which are road user errors, road environment faults and vehicle defects. If the reduction of accidents is the aim, I ask the Minister to explain how AES resolves the following main causes of accidents:-
2.1 No Separation of Traffic
Due to our roads having no separation amongst small, medium and heavy traffic, those on motorcycles are using the same road with those in cars and lorries. Statistics of road accidents in 2005 show there were 31,222 casualties from motorcycle accidents constituting 66% of all traffic accidents in Malaysia. According to PDRM statistics and the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (“MIROS”) in a recent report that in 2010 there were 9,441,907 registered motorcycles in Malaysia. There were 120,156 accidents involving motorcycles. There were 12,112 casualties with 3,614 rider fatalities and 422 pillion rider fatalities.
There have been recommendations for exclusive motorcycle lanes. Research has shown that there will be a decrease by 39% of fatal accidents with motorcycle lanes. Allocations have been provided since the 8th Malaysian Plan to build motorcycle lanes but there are still very few motorcycle lanes. AES does not address this cause of road accidents;
2.2 Improper Intersection Design
Improper intersection design is a significant cause of accidents. In 2003, 22% of the accidents occurred at intersections. A study by Road Safety Research Centre Universiti Putra Malaysia concluded that road sections with more than 15 junctions per kilometer are 1.67 times higher to have an accident than with less than 15 junctions per kilomete.;
2.3 Provision of Street Lighting
The lack of proper street lighting and poor visibility especially at junctions during night time are amongst the causes of significant number of accidents;
2.4 High Traffic Volume
A study has concluded that an accident along road sections with the average daily traffic of above 30,000 is 47% higher than roads with average daily traffic below 30,000. Where there is a high traffic volume there are not enough space between vehicles at intersections and room to avoid collisions;
2.5 Lack of Pedestrian Crossings
There were 3,523 pedestrians involved in accidents in 2005. MIROs in a study reported that 12% of the pedestrian fatalities were children between 1-18 years old, 43.5% were 5-9 years old and 30.2% were 1-4 years old. 47.7% of the child pedestrian fatalities occur near their homes. 18.5% of road crashes near schools involved children between 10-14 years old, 16.5% children between 5-9 years old and 16.1% children between 15-18 years old.
It is clear than pedestrian crossings either by signalized pedestrian crossing and pedestrian bridges will be more effective in reducing accidents involving pedestrians than AES.
3 Removing the Profit Element
There can be no objection to any scheme that will reduce road accidents. However, where the scheme involves the privatized companies obtaining a profit based on the number of summons issued then profit and not safety becomes the main concern.
I ask the Minister of Transport to review the contract and take away the profit element based on the number of tickets issued. The two companies should be paid based on the supply and maintenance of the cameras. The power of enforcement must be returned to the police. Let the police decide on inspecting the photographs to determine whether and who to issue the summons.
If reduction of accidents and safety is the main concern I ask the Minister of Transport to carry out the following:-
3.1 Address the causes of accidents by providing motorcycle lanes, pedestrian facilities, upgrading intersection designs, installing road and intersection lighting and proper signage; and
3.2 Remove the revenue of the two companies from one based on the number of summons issued to one based on the price for the supply, installation and maintenance of the cameras; and
3.3 To leave the enforcement powers to decide whether to issue summons based on the photographs to the police.
If the above matters are not done than AES is implemented for making profit and not to reduce accidents.