TRANSIT is flabbergasted to learn on the Sani Express bus tragedy at km 273 of the North-South Expressway stretch near Ipoh 1am this morning which killed 10 people. It seems that we have not learn anything from the past.
This accident shares a striking similarity with the Rawang express bus accident which happened eight months ago; both involved double-deck express buses driven by fatigued drivers with previous traffic offences during the early wee hours, and all but one of the fatalities were recorded at the lower deck on the side of the bus which had been ripped off like an opened sardine can by the piercing impact of the rigid, sharp edges of the metal guardrail barriers of the North-South Expressway.
TRANSIT calls upon the accountable parties to start taking up actions to prevent such horrible accident from happening again. Our hearts and prayers go out to the loved ones of those who lost their lives or were injured as a result of this senseless tragedy. Every time this has happened, and every time we respond to tragedies like this we always hope that it will be the last time. Sadly, the tragedies never seem to end. Careless driving, poorly designed roads and unsafe buses run by profit-making bus operators are causing carnage on our roads.
The CVLB and the Road Transport Department must explain to the public why the express bus operator is allowed to sustain the employment of a driver with previous traffic violations.
The Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia (LLM) and PLUS should be taken to task for failing to ensure the efficacy of the current vehicle restraint systems in their expressways even after the problematic findings were made to public by the Malaysian Institute Of Road Safety Research (MIROS) on the Rawang express bus accident which showed that the lower deck passenger deaths were attributed to the decapitation caused by the improper guardrail installation by PLUS Expressway.
PUSPAKOM has a lot to answer on why express buses with unsafe chassis structure are allowed to cruise on our highways. The worst-ever express bus accident in Bukit Gantang which happened two years ago should have sparked enough political will to throw unsafe buses out of the road. The guardrail would have not intruded the inside of the bus if the contact impact was resisted by the strong and stiff structure of the bus chassis at the right level height.
TRANSIT wants the government to force the accountable parties to comply with the international safety standards on allowing the construction of express bus chassis and highway crash barriers. The Road Transport Department must be made accountable to do periodical background checks on the licensed express bus drivers before the permits of express bus operators can be continued. The LLM must work with MIROS in ensuring our expressways’ safety barriers are very effective in reducing the severity of crashes when passenger vehicles and even trucks impact with them. Instead of merely offering discounts during the wee-hours, PLUS as a good corporate citizen should replace all dangerous metal guardrails with safer and properly installed wire rope barriers.
Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Mohamad Ashfar Ali texted TRANSIT that PUSPAKOM and the police are currently investigating the incident.
TRANSIT wish to sincerely offer our deep condolences to the deceased, and pray that God Al-Mighty will provide strength and patience to the family of the victims to endure this black episode.
UPDATE: Here are the links to related articles and letters on the Sani Express tragedy:
Published letter from TRANSIT:
- Didn’t we learn anything from Rawang?
- BUS CRASH: Ensure safety of vehicles, railings
- Bus carnage: Did guardrails became ‘killer rails’?
Notable National Headlines:
- Lowly-paid and exhausted drivers behind most accidents
- Miros: Let the experts do the bus driving
- Miros: Rails must guard, not kill
- Express bus driver pleads not guilty to reckless driving
- Fomca: Check suitability of double-deckers on highways
Notable Input from the Public:
- Too many permits issued to too many irresponsible bus companies which hire too many dangerous drivers.
- Usage of seat belts in express buses should be tightly enforced by the authorities. — AT
- Metal parapets along highway medians are more killer objects than safety protection. Pierce into vehicles in crash. Use concrete barriers. — Lee Hui Seng
- Traffic/drug abuse records, no. of years driving experience of bus drivers must be displayed prominently on all buses. — Loh
- More inquiries and more warnings to follow, then all is forgotten until another disaster strikes. 1Malaysia Boleh!
- Build more rest areas along North-South Expressway to let bus drivers stop over & change shift with their co-drivers. Pls take action, MIROS & PLUS! — KC
Maids better off
- JKR should look into the design of the guardrails along the highways because they are supposed to be the secondary protection against crashes.
- Every time there’s a tragic express bus accident a probe is done but no action is taken 2 rectify d problem. Y probe and waste money?
- NSE shld hv streetlights btwn say 7pm & 2am. Express bus drivers shld switch on lights inside d buses as darkness induces sleepiness.
- Major part of divider fencing along federal highway is tilted to either side n endangers life of motorists. Wait till accidents happen b4 JKR repairs it?
- Bus driver RM500 basic salary. Better b a maid! RM600, free food, lodging! Can sleep on job whn employer at work! Who wants union if u hv t Minister to back u!
- Looking at the number of express buses travelling daily north-south, and road accidents, it’s time to up grade train services or have high-speed trains. —RA
Letters to Editors Calling for Holistic Solution
- BLAME GAME: Pointing fingers will cloud solutions
- Factors that contribute to bus tragedies
- Bemoaning yet another bus crash
Letters to Editors Calling for Crash-Worthy Measures
- Replace road dividers with safer material
- Tingkatkan ciri keselamatan elak kemalangan di jalan raya
- ‘Laluan terus’ yang berbahaya
Letters to Editors Calling on Enforcement
- Malaysian Association of Standards Users says no political will to conform to standards
- Bus accident – Malaysian lives are cheap
- Express bus crash due to ‘those responsible doing nothing’
- Kaji kelayakan pemandu
Letters to Editors on Double-Deck Buses
- BUS DRIVERS: Double-decker buses unsafe
- Reka bentuk bas dua tingkat tidak sesuai?
- Kaji semula bas dua tingkat
Letters to Editors on Night Driving