PETALING JAYA: The number of road deaths in Malaysia this year is set to surpass that of the pandemic era, with the figure for January-September recording a 52% increase over last year.
Police statistics show that 4,378 people have died so far this year, 1,055 more than the same period last year.
There were 4,539 road deaths last year, and 4,634 in 2020.
The latest data show that the number of serious injuries sustained have also increased dramatically with 3,406 or 92.5% more than the same period last year.
The number of minor injuries at 21,930 was 220.4% more than last year.
Motorcycle users top the number of road fatalities with 2,916 or 66.6% of all type of road users. Other deaths were from: cars (776), pedestrians (233), lorries (139), vans (95), 4WD vehicles (94), bicycles (79), other vehicles (29) and buses (17).
Last year, motorcycle users hit the all-time high of the annual road deaths recorded in the past 21 years with 68.6% out of overall road users.
With the anticipated increase of road traffic during the campaigning period of the general election and voters travelling to cast votes in their own constituencies, road safety advocates have expressed concern that the fatalities in 2022 could also surpass the 2019 statistics.
“If the road fatalities for the fourth quarter of 2022 record at least 1,790, then clearly we will have more (deaths) than the pre-pandemic level,” said a spokesperson of the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research.
The director-general of road transport, Zailani Hashim, said the number of crashes has gone up by 147,094.
However, there was a massive reduction of road traffic due to the various Covid-19 travel restrictions in the past two years.
“The growing number of crashes for 2022 was expected since more people are commuting and travelling this year,” he told FMT. “We have been working hard to ensure safer roads for everyone.”
Zailani also said that JPJ would be working closely with police to ensure road users comply with the road rules during the general election and the predictable year-end traffic growth.