PETALING JAYA, Nov 2 (Bernama) -- A campaign will be launched on Sunday to encourage motorcyclists to use public transport to return to their hometowns for the festive celebrations.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said Tuesday the campaign was targeted at motorcyclists because they were the most highly prone to accidents, including fatal accidents, during the festive season.
Studies had found that using public transport to return to one's hometown for festivities like Deepavali and Hari Raya was safer than riding a motorcycle, he said when launching the balik kampung campaign for motorcyclists at the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) toll plaza near Bandar Sunway here.
"Motorcyclists and pillion riders have the highest mortality rate from road accidents with 2,634 deaths or 57 per cent of the 4,639 fatal road accidents recorded up to end of last month," he said.
Chan said a study by the Universiti Putra Malaysia road safety research centre had found that taking public transport to balik kampung was 30 times safer, while cars were 17 times safer and trains, 325 times safer than riding motorcycles.
To ensure smooth implementation of the campaign, public transport firms had been directed to increase their services and capacity to cater for the increase in passenger load during the festive season.
"If this campaign receives good response, I expect the number of accidents involving deaths and injuries to drop," he said.
Chan reiterated that the government would go ahead with the ban on heavy commercial vehicles from the roads on Nov 10, 12, 13, 20 and 21 to reduce congestion and road accidents, but lorries transporting essential supplies like petrol and medical supply were exempted.
On the campaign launched Tuesday, he hoped that motorcyclists passing the toll plaza would use the free motorcycle checks provided by the organisers, Hong Leong Yamaha.
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