More fatal bus crashes: Implement the recommendations of the Genting Crash Report

bentong bus crash (editted)

Media statement by DAP National Political Education Director and MP for Kluang Liew Chin Tong on 13rd April 2014

Two serious bus crashes occurred yesterday (Saturday 12 April), one in Bentong, Pahang and the other Kulai, Johor.

At 12.30am yesterday, an express bus with 30 Hindu devotees bound for Panguni Uthiram Festival in Maran, Pahang overturned at KM26.8 North-South Expressway near Kulai. Luckily the accident was not fatal, only eight were injured.

However, almost at the same time yesterday, a double-decker express bus carrying 68 passengers overturned at KM11 of Jalan Bentong-Raub while travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bahru. Three died and 65 others were injured.

The Bentong double-decker bus accident yesterday happened near the site of the nation’s deadliest bus crash in Genting Highlands that claimed 37 lives in August 2013.

During the eight months after the Genting tragedy, at least 14 serious bus accidents and crashes were reported nationwide, killing 16 and injuring 149. (See the attached Table 1)

The frequency of fatal bus accidents deeply concerned Malaysians. Major reforms need to take place quickly to save lives.

The Ministry of Transport should immediately implement all recommendation of the Independent Advisory Panel to the Minister of Transport on the 21 August 2013 bus crash at KM 3.6 Genting Highlands-Kuala Lumpur Road (“The Genting Crash Report”) to prevent the constant reoccurring of deadly bus accidents.

The Genting Crash Report says “it is deeply concerned that many issues are institutional and system-based, giving rise to the possibility that the problems are not isolated cases, but instead are the norms for the country.”

Public vehicle licensing and bus inspection need closer scrutiny. There exists structural flaws in those processes.

The Genting Crash Report was clearly against the use of double-decker coaches along hilly and winding road. However, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) did not take the road condition into account when licensing buses.

The report recommended that double deck/high deck buses be prohibited — which is widely known as highly unstable vehicle due to its height — from road, pending resolution of safety weaknesses.

The Genting Report also recommended that the Public Work Department to conduct road safety audits on all hilly roads. A risk-mapping exercise is also recommended to determine the risks of involving various roads.

I call upon Ministry of Transport to take recommendations of the Genting Crash Report seriously to prevent further disasters.

Liew Chin Tong

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