“Transport Minister, please look into how passenger overload can result in accidents!”

TIME to limit the number of passengers in a car to avoid accidents!

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook needs to take a serious view of traffic accidents caused by overloading of passengers in cars. In an accident in Kluang last Saturday (Jan 21), six out of eight people in a car were killed, including children.

Due to an excessive load, a vehicle can become uncontrollable, especially when negotiating corners or on bumpy and potholed roads.

The driver has to be extra careful and needs to drive slowly to keep the vehicle from swaying from side to side; it will be dangerous if there are vehicles being  driven fast on the opposite lane.

Malaysia does not have any specific rules about how many passengers can safely be seated in a travelling car. Usually, there are five people in a car, including the driver. It will be safe to limit it to only five people.

The Transport Ministry has to come up with a rule as to how many adults and children can travel in a car. Cars come in various sizes, and some can hold more and some less passengers safely.

A guideline will be useful, and the traffic police and the road transport enforcement officers can act if this rule is infringed.

In December 2021 an accident killed 10 people, including eight children, in a car that was being repaired near the USJ R&R when a trailer hit the parked car. It was a terrible tragedy when so many   children were killed.

In a few months’ time, the nation will be celebrating Hari Raya Puasa, and it is a well-known fact that car drivers, especially those from the villages or those going to “balik kampung”, will lump together many family members in the car during their short or long distance travels. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Loke, who is one of the most pro-active Cabinet ministers, needs to take the initiative to look into this problem of cars being overloaded with both the young and old risking their lives in this manner.

The Transport Ministry needs to consider airing relevant videos on television to drive home the message of safety. Many video clips concerning traffic accidents are going viral on TikTok.

There was one recently about a small child being thrown out of the carrier basket when the bike, probably ridden by the father, hit the side of a car. Luckily, no vehicles were following behind. The child was quickly carried away to safety by other quickly responding motorists.

In the collision, the father then overshot the kerb, hit a plastic road barrier, and fell unconscious. This particular episode shows the danger of placing the child in the carrier basket when travelling by motorbike. 

This type of video should be shown on television more frequently during festival seasons to emphasise the importance of safety, especially to errant motorists. — Jan 25, 2023


V.Thomas is a Focus Malaysia viewer.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.


Main photo credit: The Edge Markets

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