KUALA LUMPUR — Hari Raya is just around the corner and the school holidays have begun, with the annual balik kampung exodus from the cities becoming more apparent on roads and highways throughout the nation.
The Road Safety Department’s statistics indicate more than two million people would have started the balik kampung rush by now to make it to their hometowns before the first day of Hari Raya, expected tomorrow.
According to its website, a total of 22,402 accidents were recorded during Op Selamat XII in conjunction with Hari Raya last year. The figure included 239 fatal accidents with 257 fatalities.
To ensure the journey home for Malaysians is safer and smoother this year, the police initiated Op Selamat XIII/2018, which will be from June 8 to June 22.
However, the authorities stressed the responsibility is also on motorists to prepare themselves physically and mentally for trouble-free journeys.
New Car Assessment Programme for Southeast Asia (Asean NCAP) secretary-general Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim noted that every motorist must first be aware they will not be the only ones on the road.
“Everyone wants to get back to their hometown and village. To get back safely, everyone has to behave like a ‘five star’ driver — drive in the best manner to avoid any mishap,” he said.
“Traffic during festive periods calls for motorists to make better mental and physical preparations, including getting sufficient rest before a long journey.”
Khairil Anwar also advised motorists to ensure their vehicles are in the best condition..
“If your vehicle is in poor condition, it’s best to find another vehicle or opt for public transport,” he said. — Bernama