Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Malaysia urged to be leader in vehicle safety standard

BANGKOK: Producing safer yet affordable cars is the trend now as safety is not for the “elite” alone, and Malaysia can be the leader for safety standard in Southeast Asia, said industry officials.
Officials from the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) and Proton Holdings Bhd stressed that against the backdrop of high death tolls from car accidents in Southeast Asia, safer cars would be the catalyst for safer mobility environment in the region.
Thailand’s death rate due to car accidents stood at 38.1 per 100,000 population in 2010, according to the World Health Organisation, while it was 25 for every 100,000 population in Malaysia.
There were 20.11 million vehicles registered in Malaysia as of 2010, while the figure in Thailand stood at 28.48 million units.
“Safety alone will never be adequate, safety must be affordable and for all,” said Miros research officer Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim at the Asean Automobile Safety Forum, here, yesterday.
The forum was organised by Miros in conjunction with the Bangkok Motor Expo 2014.
“It’s unfair to say that those in developed countries deserve safer vehicles while people on developing countries deserve less. We must treat vehicle safety equally, irrespective of who and where,” said Proton chief technical officer Abdul Rashid Musa.
He said Malaysia was a signatory of the World Vehicle Type Approval and had started the gradual implementation of the automotive industry regulation in 2010 ahead of other regional countries.
Through Miros, Malaysia has initiated the Asean New Car Assessment Programme (Asean NCAP) that provides safety ratings for vehicles since 2012.
Khairil pointed out that Thailand and Malaysia had higher fatality rates than Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam in 2010. This showed that higher exposure of vehicles in the two countries had brought undesirable results in terms of road fatalities.
Therefore, Asean NCAP has to intervene by introducing safer mobility in Thailand and Malaysia in particular, and the region in general.

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