Over one-third of traffic accidents linked to cellphone usage

YAN, 20 June 2017: 

Using mobile phones while driving has caused 35% of accidents in Kedah, said state police chief Datuk Asri Yusoff.

He said such an act could also slow down traffic as it could distract a person when behind the wheel.

“The risk might be low if a driver is using the hands-free device but the use of mobile phones can cause traffic to slow down. In fact, it can result in accidents.”

After launching the Kedah-level integrated operations, dubbed ‘Op Selamat’ 11/2017 in conjunction with the Aidilfitri celebration yesterday, Asri said 54 locations in the state had been identified as ‘hotspots’ (accident-prone) areas during the operation which would run until July 2.

“We have targeted to reduce accidents this year by 5%. The number of accidents in the state during last year’s Op Selamat was 1,201 cases, namely an increase of 11 cases from the previous year.”

Asri also reminded members of the public to inform the police via the ‘balik kampung’ information form to ensure the safety of their homes, before leaving to their respective hometowns to celebrate Aidilfitri.

The forms can be obtained at the nearest police station or downloaded from the Royal Malaysia Police official website.

Alternatively, the form can be filled via the Volunteer Smartphone Patrol application available on Google Play Store and App Store.

The Road Transport Department (RTD) will station 38 Enforcement Based Stations (EBS) along all major highways to ensure monitoring can be carried out continuously and comprehensively during Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year.

RTD director-general Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron said the EBS are check-points to ensure RTD personnel conducted patrols along the routes which are identified as accident-prone.

”Other than becoming check-points for the personnel, EBS will also become inspection areas if the patrol team detected motorists committing offences.

“We will also issue summonses at EBS if the vehicles stopped by the patrolmen had committed offences.”

He said among the EBS locations were the Tangkak Toll Plaza, Johor, Rawang Toll Plaza, Selangor, Ipoh Toll Plaza, Ipoh and the Sungai Dua, Butterworth Toll Plaza, Penang.

Nadzri said 3,128 officers and personnel would be on duty during the 2017 Ops HRA until July 2. “We are increasing our manpower by 1,128 people compared to only 2,000 officers and personnel working during the festive season last year.”

Perak police will mobilise a total of 597 units of Mobile Patrol Vehicle (MPV) and Motorcycle Patrol (URB) to prevent and combat crimes in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

State police deputy chief, Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob said the police would increase patrols in public places around the state such as banks, bus terminals, train stations and shopping centres to strengthen its crime prevention efforts.

“This step is important to prevent and combat crime at the maximum level, reducing the opportunity for crime and increasing the sense of security of society.”

Zainuddin also said the public could obtain ‘balik kampung’ forms at the nearest police station as well as from personnel from MPV and URB units.

He said the public should contact the police if they spotted any vehicle or person in suspicious circumstances at 05-2401999 or 999.

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