'Road crashes' more accurate than 'road accidents', says Transport Ministry

KUALA LUMPUR: There will be a gradual shift in the use of the terminology "road accidents" to "road crashes", says Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar (pic). "We raised the matter at the Road Safety Council meeting late last year that there should be a change in the terminology from road accidents to crashes. "Statistics show that a very high percentage of crashes are due to human error and not due to accidents that happen beyond one's control.

"The change in the terminology will create awareness among the people that they should be more aware of their own personal responsibilities while on the road," he said after launching the Kawasaki Motors Road Safety Campaign on Thursday (Jan 9) in conjunction with the coming Chinese New Year celebrations. He said 80% of road accidents were due to human error, with the remaining 20% due to vehicle and road conditions. He added that there would be no legal or insurance implications following the change in the terminology.

"We will introduce the new terminology in phases and encourage its usage," he said. Earlier in his speech, Kamarudin said road crashes ranked as the fourth highest cause of deaths in the country in 2018. He noted there were 6,284 road fatalities in 2018, representing 3.7% of the most common cause of deaths in Malaysia, behind heart disease (35.3%), pneumonia (11.8%) and stroke (7.8%).

Based on police statistics covering a 10-year period between 2008 and 2018, he said motorcycle crashes contributed to 63.2% of fatalities compared to 19.2% involving other vehicles.

Of the total road fatalities in 2018, he said 4,128 or 65.7% involved motorcycles followed by 1,167 deaths involving car crashes and 407 deaths involving pedestrians.

Although there was a reduction in the number of road fatalities from 6,740 in 2017 to 6,284 in 2018, he said the ministry would work with other agencies and the private sector to further reduce the numbers.

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