Today’s local daily highlighted that there are thousands of unfit buses plying our roads carrying passengers in the city or on long distance haul. Puspakom, the main inspection center for commercial vehicles throughout Malaysia, shows that 4,111 commercial buses were not brought in for inspections last year.
The vehicles, which include express, tour and school buses had not undergone mandatory inspections which are supposed to be done once every six months to ensure their tyres and brakes are roadworthy. Many bus operators would only send their buses for inspection once a year, before the expiry of the road tax.
The lack of concern for safety may most probably be the cause of disastrous road accidents caused by buses. Some bus operators prefer to maximise their profit at the expense of their passengers’ lives. If you were to read on bus accidents in Malaysia, many of times the blame on accidents is caused by brake failures or other technical parts.
Is this the easy way out blaming the cause of the accidents? The root of the accidents lies in the mentality of some of the bus operators. If the buses are properly maintain and check, the accidents may be avoided and will not add to the statistics.
As Malaysia is moving towards a develop nation, bus operators should not be having a 3rd world mentality giving sub-par service. Passengers that rely on buses as their main transportation will not know that this bus ride might be their last ride that will send them 6-feet underground. Imagine the anguish their family members have to face if their loved ones died in a tragic accident. The fate of the passengers lies in the hands of the bus driver and bus operators.
The trails of major accidents involving buses that hit the headlines in the media will send the shiver down your bone if our Malaysian bus operators maintain their ignorance.
DECEMBER 20, 2010
The bus accident is believed to be the worst road accident in the nation's history. Two Malaysians and 25 Thai nationals were killed on board an express bus at KM15 of the Cameron Highlands-Simpang Pulai road. The bus had 37 passengers on board, 34 of them were Thai tourists. The cause of the 11.40am accident was said to be caused by speeding and brake failure.
The driver was trying to negotiate a sharp bend but failed, causing the vehicle to hit a divider before overturning. It landed on its roof in a ditch about 51m away from the divider. The impact killed 22 passengers on the spot.
The impact of the crash was so severe that bodies were flung several metres away from the wreckage while others were trapped deep in the ditch. The bus was heading to Kuala Lumpur from Cameron Highlands.
OCTOBER 10, 2010
The accident which involved two buses, a van and two cars at KM223 of the North-South Expressway claimed 13 lives and 40 others were seriously injured. In the 6.40pm tragedy, a bus heading towards Kuala Lumpur went out of control and flipped over to the southbound side of the highway.
After colliding with a van and two cars, the bus then slammed into a Welfare Department bus which was heading towards Malacca. The dead and injured were sent to Malacca Hospital and Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital in Seremban. The incident caused massive traffic snarls on both sides of the highway.
DECEMBER 25, 2009
Ten people were killed after a northbound double-decker Sani Express bus skidded and hit a divider at KM272.8 of the North-South Expressway. The victims were seated on the lower deck of the bus in the 1am incident.
DECEMBER 7, 2008
Ten people were killed after an express bus skidded and overturned at KM146.5 of the North-South Expressway near Pagoh, Johor. Five women, four men and a nine-year-old girl died while another 19 were injured when the bus overturned in the 2am incident.
AUGUST 13, 2007
Twenty passengers of the Super Express bus were killed in an accident which took place near Bukit Berapit, Bukit Gantang, Changkat Jering, Perak. The driver, Rohizan Abu Bakar, lost control of the bus as it was going down an incline and crashed into a ditch at the KM229 of the North-South Expressway. Rohizan 38, died, along with 19 passengers. Police disclosed the driver had two arrest warrants and 13 summonses against him.
Picture & Bus tragedy source: The Malay Mail