Bandar Seri Begawan - Sixty-four cases of accident have been recorded for this week alone. Among those were two cases with fatalities, whereby two motorcyclists lost their lives in the accidents. Meanwhile, a cyclist and a jogger were injured in separate incidents.
Thus, the Brunei Darussalam Road Safety Council (BDRSC) has reminded motorists to be extra cautious especially when passing along the recreational areas, where there tends to be more joggers, bikers and cyclists, and also to take serious account of the dangers and safety precautions to be taken on the road.
Two motorcyclists recently died; one in a self-accident last Sunday around the Berakas main road near Lambak Kanan Light Industrial Area, and the other in Jln Mentiri on Monday. As for the aforementioned cyclist and jogger, they were hit in Jln Tanah Jambu and Jln Jerudong respectively, and are both recovering at the hospital.
According to the Acting Director of Traffic Control and Investigation Department of the Royal Brunei Police Force, Snr Supt Azahari bin Hj Awg-Besar, during an interview with the media yesterday, all safety aspects should be taken seriously, with the core element being the attitude of the drivers and road users. The effort to reduce the rate of accidents should not be shouldered by the government agencies alone, but should also include the involvement of the public.
The BDRSC reminds the public to always check their vehicles to ensure that it is in good condition and adhere to road rules and regulations such as road-signs and traffic lights, he added.
In addition to that, motorists should also pay attention and be considerate while behind the wheel. They must always fasten their seatbelts and be alert towards the surrounding area especially during heavy rain, which causes reduced visibility and slippery roads.
Motorists should slow down when approaching a traffic light, junction, around school and housing areas and at road construction area. They should also take into consideration; to not use mobile phone while driving, to plan their journey wisely and not be in a rush, postpone a trip when one is tired, sleepy, unhealthy or is in a chaotic condition, not treating the roads as racetracks, not to tail-gate, reciting prayers when starting a journey, as well as prevent excessive speeding -which is exactly what happened in one of the accident cases whereby inspection showed that the road divider at the site was damaged from the impact caused by speeding.
To reduce the rate of road accidents, BDRSC, through the Traffic Control and Investigation Department of the Royal Brunei Police Force, will step up its efforts and initiatives through enforcement and preventive measures such as to intensify its operations and spot checks, as well as conduct briefings on road safety at government offices, private sectors and educational institutions.
Meanwhile, the Head of the Road Safety Unit at the Ministry of Communications, Hj Joharry bin Hj Abd Karim, stressed that vulnerable road users like motorcyclists and cyclists should wear proper helmets whereby the protective features are recognised according to the standards which is of utmost priority to reduce the impact of head injuries, as well as to wear bright shirts and proper shoes to increase visibility.
Joggers are also advised to wear bright shirts, which are easily visible to motorists and also to avoid jogging in the dark or during heavy downpours. One should also avoid high risk areas and utilise the infrastructure provided such as footpaths, pedestrian crossings and bridges.
Awg Rafitra bin Hj Abd Razak, the Acting Senior Work Engineer of Road Maintenance Section of the Public Works Department (PWD) added that the department strives to carry out various infrastructure projects by integrating the latest methods in accordance to international standards and guidelines.
Among the projects normally carried out to contain road safety issues include construction of new roads to avoid traffic congestion such as the road linking Tungku, Jerudong and Katok; widening of roads such as those seen ongoing at Jln Muara, Jerudong and the Seria bypass; building of flyover projects such as at Muara-Tutong highway junction linking with Berakas main road and also at Mentiri main road.
Others include constructing of overhead bridge at areas such as in Sengkurong and Jerudong. PWD also provides raised pedestrian crossings such as those found at school areas as well as at government departments and commercial sites. Safe pathways are also prepared for cyclists such as the one in Jln Menteri Besar. Furthermore, in order to reduce accidents at traffic light areas, PWD has and will continue to install `Prepare to stop' and 'Dedicated right turn' lights.
For speed management, several methods have been utilised, such as installing dual speed limits at highways, speed limit road signs at strategic areas like Gadong and Jln Tutong, as well as placing speed humps at school and housing areas.
The traffic police have conducted 309 operations last year with 7,694 offences recorded for various violations such as speeding, jumping a red light, failure to wear a safety belt, driving with bald tyres, using handphone while driving, texting and illegal car modifications.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin