A boy, Danial Gabrail Abdullah, who will turn 5 in December, suffered serious injuries in an accident in Saujana Puchong, Selangor on Saturday. Danial was reported to have suffered a cracked skull, internal brain hemorrhage and a broken ankle.
I am not surprised that many drivers nowadays, especially new and, young and those who have very recently achieved their P license, may not be aware of how fast they should drive while they are in town areas.
Just recently, I had just crossed a traffic light and was about to turn right into a lane when a motorcyclist laden with vegetables and other assorted marketing sundries overtook me in a dangerous manner. The said motorcyclist was speeding away excessively.
What made me wonder was, was it necessary for the motorist to be traveling away at such a speed, especially when we were in fact in a town center?
Inexperienced drivers nowadays, hold the view that possessing a driving license is the gateway to much pleasure. With a driving license, many feel that they can go to parties, discos and cinemas. Many are unaware that they should in fact be careful as a driving license can sometimes lead us into a lot of problems and miseries.
A Sani Express bus driver from Perak is currently awaiting court process after 18 of his passengers died in a road accident a few months ago.
A student, whom I taught driving, is today awaiting to be charged under Section 41 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 for having involved in an accident. The driver who knocked into him at a junction unfortunately died.
The boy above has had his license banned temporarily. If found to be guilty by the courts, it is possible that the driver might face a mandatory prison sentence of 2 to 10 years.
The question which I am attempting to address today is whether drivers of today are aware that in reality, there is in fact a speed limit for driving in town areas.
First of all, school areas have a speed limit of 30 km/h. Drivers are advised to keep to a speed limit designated above.
In the 1960s, when I took up driving lessons, my instructor, Mr. Tew Hock Lai, used to remind me that while driving in town areas, drivers should stick to a speed limit of 50 km/h.
When asked, what is meant by town areas, Mr. Tew explained, “town areas” are in fact areas a radius of 5 miles from the centre of the town. The centre of most town is usually the police station.
Therefore a driver who exceeds a speed of 50 km/h in towns, is in fact violating a law which is in fact speeding.
In the unfortunate accident, whereby Danial Gabrial Abdullah was involved, it was reported that the speeding vehicle with the words Police Bantuan slammed into the 5 year old boy.
In fact, being in a housing area, the above vehicle should not have been traveling so fast. The driver was in fact, speeding.
The second offense committed by the van driver was not stopping after the accident happened. The law requires that a driver stop and offer whatever help necessary to the victims of an accident. In the above incident, the driver was said to have not stopped but drove away instead.
However, according to the boy’s mother, Puan Nor Saliha, the driver however returned to the scene of the incident a few minutes later.
The driver of the said van, in causing the accident was driving a vehicle which exceeded the speed limit allowed. This infringes Section 41 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.
According to the above section of the R.T.O. 1987, a driver can be fined to a tune of RM1000. A driver can have his license endorsed. His license can even be suspended for a period of 1 month.
Should a victim die, a driver can then be charged under Section 41 of the R.T.O. 1987. Besides this, a driver faces a 2 – 10 years mandatory jail sentence. Further, his license can be suspended from the date of the court case until the court decides on imprisonment later on.
A driver should stop and provide assistance to the injured. A driver should ideally send the injured victims to the nearest clinic or hospital. A police report should also be made to the nearest police station regarding the accident within 24 hours.
As usual, the driver should also make it a point to report or inform his insurance company pertaining to the accident. Failure to do this may result in the insurance company disclaiming liability.
Can such unfortunate accidents similar to the one above which befelled Danial Gabrial Abdullah be prevented?
Most housing estates today are rather busy areas.
Parents and guardians should make it a point that small children should not be allowed to wander about into these busy thoroughfares or play along busy road.
Local council authorities should set up playground and fields in all housing estates for the use of children. Basketball and badminton courts should also be built. All these augurs well for the safety of our children.
To prevent drivers and motorcyclists from speeding, more road bumps or speed breakers should be constructed in housing areas. All these may cause inconvenience to road users, but the safety and welfare of our children is more important than anything else.
We hope that the 5 years old boy, who is currently warded at the Subang Jaya hospital will recover soon and will be allowed to go home shortly. To all drivers, let this article be an advice to you. Try not to speed, especially when you are in the vicinity of town areas.
Remember, that in the vicinity of towns, the maximum speed limit permitted is 50 km/h. School areas, as you know is only 30 km/h.