KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) today disclosed that over 155,058 road deaths and more than a million injuries have been sustained from road crashes in Malaysia since 1995.
“155,000 dead bodies is enough to fill up two Bukit Jalil Stadiums,” said Miros board of directors member, Shahrim Tamrin, during a virtual session with the media where he urged journalists to practice more constructive and solution-based road safety reporting.
Shahrim said better news reports and more coverage of road issues could shape public opinion and force authorities and stakeholders to rethink their approaches to road safety, which can bring down the number of needless deaths.
He also called on journalists to stop using the word “accident” and instead use the word “crash” in their reports regarding incidents on the road.
“The word ‘accident’ makes the matter seem unavoidable when actually most of these crashes can be avoided.
“Even the airline industry uses the term air crash investigation. That’s because they hold themselves up to such a high standard of safety where ‘accident’ is just not acceptable,” he said.
Meanwhile, Miros art director Yusof Ghani, said that a Miros study conducted in 2016 on 100 Malay newspaper reports on road crashes, showed that none of them provided a solution towards better road safety, “meaning they were not written in a constructive manner”.
In November last year, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) reported that for 2019, road accidents were the primary killer of those aged 14 to 40-years-old, making up 20.6 per cent of total road deaths.
Across all age groups, road deaths were fourth in the list, causing 3.8 per cent of all deaths, behind ischaemic heart diseases (15.0), pneumonia (12.2) and cerebrovascular diseases (8.0).
Statistics on causes of death for the year 2020 have not yet been reported by DoSM.