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Thoughtless driving ended in tragedy

POSTED BY CBT Team ON 16 July 2014

Perodua Viva accident 19 May 2013

On May 19 last year, a Proton Satria barrelled down from Bukit Antarabangsa at a speed that the driver could not stop it upon reaching the T-junction at Middle Ring Road 2.

The car rammed past the road divider and struck a Perodua Viva coming from the opposite direction.

The collision caused a Toyota Swift to skid and crashed into the Perodua Viva, and a motorcyclist was injured after losing control to avoid the pileup.

The accident could have been avoided had the Proton Satria been properly maintained, the car driven down on low gear and the brakes applied intermittently to test its effectiveness.

Throwing caution to the wind had taken the lives of all four passengers in the Perodua Viva and the two couples were in their twenties.

Four months after the accident, the driver was charged under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act which carries a jail term of not less than 2 years and not more than 10 years, and to a fine not less than RM5,000 and not more than RM20,000.

Initially, he pleaded not guilty but changed his plea last Friday at the Ampang Magistrate Court, and was sentenced to four years jail and fined RM10,000.

Interestingly, his driving licence was suspended for 3 years which seemed superfluous as he is not expected to be driving behind bars.

Moreover, driving licences can be renewed for up to 5 years and even by third parties. As such, the law should be amended to revoke licences of those who caused death through gross negligence.

The Proton Satria driver would be spending Aidilfitri behind bars and for his family, the celebration would not be as joyous as before.

Although the driver of the Toyota Wish may not be at fault for crashing into the Perodua Viva, the person may still be traumatised by the sight of four mangled bodies in the car.

But nothing can be compared to the grief suffered by the parents and siblings of the two young couples whose lives were cut short in the horrific accident.

Their families could only shed silent tears when they visit their graves on Aidilfitri mornings.

For those joining the festive rush, it is important to have their cars’ brakes and tyres checked. It would be wise to change the brake fluid when replacing brake pads and linings.

Tyres should be checked not just for tread wear but also for cuts and swellings, which can be conducted at many tyre shops without charge.

It would be a good habit to check tyre pressures twice a month and the spare tyre once every 3 months, and to do both before any outstation trip.

Do bear in mind that excessive flexing of an under-inflated tyre, made worst by a heavy load over long distance, can generate enough heat for it to burst.

A better prepared car and driver would certainly make our roads safer and allow families to gather and celebrate a joyous occasion.

Sadly, motorists who continue to be thoughtless would be contributing to the statistics and might even become part of it.

YS Chan
Kuala Lumpur

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