Barking at the wrong dog?

Ops Sikap 24 ended with 289 people died, an 18% increase in fatalities compared to 244 during last Hari Raya, and in 19,606 road accidents compared to 16,817 last year. Saddenningly motorcyclists and pillion riders still made up 179 or 62% ...of the fatalities.

The previous records of Ops Sikap road deaths numbers during Hari Raya was 285 in 2002, followed by 265 in 2009. Speeding and the increase in the number of vehicles were among reasons cited to be contributing for the steep rise. Although 133,808 summonses were issued during the operation by more than 10,000 personnel, a handful of drivers and riders still endanger themselves and others by the way they drive or ride.

Still, the statistics does not reveal the nature of the accidents especially the ones which are bike related. As we all are aware, riding on two wheels makes us vulnerable, and although so, it is a necessity to many, financially-wise as well as for the convenience of it. On bikes, even near misses could be fatal, unlike cars which provides a protective cage around its occupants from bumps or even major contact. How many of the fatal accidents were caused by bikes evading cars that are lane-hopping or making indiscriminate u-turns? We all have seen such occurences and some of us have even been unfortunate to be involved in such dilemmas, but was fortunate enough to have survived the incidents.

But for the unfortunate ones, the real story would rest with them, with the world oblivious to the real culprits of these fatalities. Most people would just make assumptions and resort to finger-pointing. Road safety is the responsibility of all road users, including the maintenance crew. The motto 'Bersabar dan Bertimbangrasa' or Patience and Consideration aptly describe the attitudes that should be adopted by all, as most accidents could have been avoided if such virtues are practiced. And, for those accidents involving motorcyclist, are they really to be blamed?

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