Study on road safety recommendations

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KAJANG — The Transport Ministry has commissioned an independent review panel to study the 51 road safety recommendations proposed following the tragic Genting Highlands bus crash
in 2013.

Minister Anthony Loke said the Recommendation Review Panel (RRP) has been given three months to draft an interim report on the progress of its implementation, which would be accessible to the public.

“The setting up of this RRP was to ensure better and efficient monitoring towards the implementation of the recommendations,” he said at a media briefing at the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) here yesterday.

Miros director-general Siti Zaharah Ishak, academic Associate Professor Dr Ahmad Kamil Arshad, Peninsular Malaysia Bus Drivers Association president Saa’dan Man, and executive editor Sharim Tamrin, were appointed to the nine-member panel.

The RRP is led by Transport Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim as chairman and Miros chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye as co-chairman.

Following the 2013 accident which claimed 37 lives, Miros had launched a detailed investigation and an independent advisory panel was formed to review the inquiry and propose the 51 recommendations.

“It is time for us to act as there is already a complete report on the proposal,” Loke said.

He said to improve the safety of bus transportation, the federal government will also review the need to make the Safety Star Grading (SSG), implemented in 2013, mandatory.

Loke said to date, only 20 bus operators have voluntarily participated in the grading programme.

“It is a good programme, but we need to study whether it should be made compulsory.

“At the same time, this will give bus operators a sense of competition to improve their safety standards. Commuters will also benefit from the programmes as there would be options available for them,” he said.

The SSG programme currently accords a star rating based on the level of safety compliance, made on a voluntary basis.

This would allow commuters to assess the safety level of bus operators based on the rating obtained.