“Every time I took the seven-hour bus ride to my hometown, none of the passengers wore the safety belt.”
The observation was shared by Mohd Noor Iqram Rosli, 25, a civil servant working in the capital for the past year, who commutes by bus from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Krai, Kelantan, quite regularly.
He said although the bus had safety belt facilities, passengers rarely took the initiative to buckle up.
“Most new buses are equipped with safety belts, but it is not being used by the passengers as there is neither reminder nor monitoring being done onboard the bus,” he told Bernama.
For Sufinah Abd Wahab, 23, who travels by bus between Malacca and Johor at least once every fortnight, the express bus service she uses rarely has seatbelt facilities on its buses.
“Every time I hear about bus accidents, I get scared, but what choice do I have?”
Meantime, Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca) deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman welcomed the proposal to enforce the use of safety belts for bus passengers.
This is to prevent passengers from being thrown out of the bus during an accident as well as to reduce the risk of death, he said.
“Fomca agrees with the proposal to compel passengers to wear seatbelts as most of them will fall asleep during the ride and will not even realise what hit them until it is too late,” he said.
Last Saturday, Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman Azman Ujang, in a news analysis, also suggested prohibiting express buses from travelling during “sleepy hours” and enforcing the use of seatbelts for bus passengers.
This follows the tragedies involving public transport occurring during festive seasons, with the latest being the express bus crash a day before Christmas on Saturday in which 14 people died and 16 were injured.
The 3.40am crash occurred at Km137.3 North-South Expressway in Kampung Jayor, Muar.
According to media reports, the bus driver is believed to have lost control of the vehicle, which was heading to Kuala Lumpur from Johor Bahru, causing the bus to plunge into a 10-metre deep ravine, resulting in many passengers being thrown out of the vehicle.
Source : @ FMT Online