Friday, February 1, 2008

'Bus-crash-no-more' online petition

Remember the Bukit Gantang bus crash August last year which claimed the lives of 22 people? Remember what a fuss it made? Authorities pointed their fingers at the bus companies and the bus companies pointed THEIR fingers at the dead bus driver who had two arrest warrants and 13 unpaid summons let alone a license.

The result? Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy announced the grounding of entire fleets of buses, Ops Bersih; where buses are flagged down and their drivers screened and the reminding of the bus companies to comply with the Safety, Health and Evironment code. Nothing more than short-term knee-jerk reactions to the issue.

Obviously somewhere along the line, someone has been issuing and renewing the licenses of unfit bus drivers and approving the road-worthiness of unsafe buses. In fact, this MUST be SO rampant that bus companies are not even bothered to comply with these rules resulting in them allowing unfit drivers to drive the buses which are not road-worthy. In fact, during the ops Bersih, many drivers were found to be on drugs as this will help them stay awake as some of them are even asked to drive for prolonged periods of time.

Barely half a year from the Bukit Gantang incident, another high profile bus crash occured near Slim River; in which a Lee Nian Ning, a bright student with her entire future ahead of her; along with another two students lost their lives. According to the news, the driver lost control of the bus and slammed into the divider. The driver of the bus had 13 unpaid summonses against him. As usual, fingers were pointed and nothing was solved.

So what happened to the initiative sparked by the Bukit Gantang incident? As the saying goes, Malaysia mudah lupa.

This petition is to request that the relevant authorities set up a committee consisting of road safety experts and representatives from relevant public bodies to conduct a thorough study to find effective solutions to ensure that mistakes like this do not occur again as many of our students take long bus rides back to their hometowns.

Although accidents are inevitable, eliminating the faulty buses and unfit drivers factor will drastically reduce them. Let's hope that something good will come out of this and that it STICKS this time.

Sign the petition

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