Malaysia’s road safety plan

Malaysia intends to continue its progress on improving road safety by introducing a Star-rating system. The new policy will be used to estimate road safety levels in Malaysia. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has said that the coutry’s roads will be rated based on factors like lighting, road surfaces, road width and signage. The intention is to cut road accidents by some 30% using the new system. Asia has a particularly worrying trend with regard to road safety due to a rapid rise in vehicle use, although Malaysia is one of the few Asian nations that has already set tackling this problem as a priority and taken several key steps.

However, the latest accident data in the country suggests that road deaths cost Malaysia’s economy some US$2.6 billion/year. According to the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), the country’s road accident fatality rate stood at 3.98/10,000 vehicles in 2006, compared with 0.83/10,000 in Sweden. Malaysia’s death rate was also nearly five times higher than in Sweden. By 2010, the government of Malaysia expects to cut the road fatality rate by 50% through a series of road safety measures.

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