Centre for Transport Research to investigate February’s spike in fatal car accidents

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THE Centre for Transport Research is looking into a spike in fatal car crashes across the sultanate between Febuary 17 to 24 this year which took the lives of four people.

Land Transport Director Dr Hj Supry Hj Ladi said the sudden increase in fatalities was “worrying” as it continues 2015’s alarming trend where 36 deaths were recorded, a 50 per cent increase compared to the year before.

The director – on the sidelines of road safety campaign at Pusat Insani in Seria yesterday – pointed out that research into last year’s accidents revealed that 90 per cent of all accidents are either between two cars or self-accidents.

Although this year’s fatalities may be owed to different reasons, the director speculated that the overwhelming majority of accidents this year are believed to be caused by driver behaviour and attitudes.

“85 to 95 per cent of accidents comes down to the actions of the drivers, and the truth is we could go a long way in reducing accidents by taking a few, simple yet fundamental measures,” he said.

Drivers should, as much as possible, plan journeys ahead and take into account traffic to avoid rushing, adhere to specified speed limits, wear their seat belts and keep their distance from the vehicle in front of them.

“Outside these measures, the mental state and focus of the driver is important. Anything that impairs judgement and reaction time should be avoided,” he said, pointing out that stressful conversations, even if done on loud speaker or headsets, could potentially worsen judgement.

“Yes we are all in a hurry to get somewhere sometimes. But if we plan early, and stick to safe practices we will not only save our lives, but the lives of those travelling with us and others on the road,” he added.

Yesterday’s road show, jointly organised by Germanischer Lloyd Offshore and Industrial Services and Mozzat Enterprise, comes after both private companies recorded narrow misses on the road, signalling a need to promote better road safety.

The two companies, who are currently servicing a contract with Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) to provide inspection services said that they decided organise a road show to also target the community at large.

“Instead of holding an internal event to raise the profile of road safety, we gathered different safety vendors and organised a road show instead so the whole community can benefit,” said Mozzat Enterprise’s Health, Safety and Environment Officer Alex Yang.

Booths on tyre safety, child seats and GPS tracking programmes were set up, with BSP also inviting people to try their ‘safety belt convincer’ which simulates vehicle collision without a seat belt at 5 to 10 miles per hour.

The Brunei Times