Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Need for A Unified Public Transport Regulator

Since this blog was set up in 2008, we have heard the authorities making all kinds of pledges whenever there is a fatal bus accident. Sadly, little has changed since then. Speeding buses and lorries, lorries with faulty tail lights and heavy vehicles emitting black fumes etc. are still a common sight on our roads and expressways.

The problem lies in the multiple agencies and bodies with overlapping jurisdictions over public transport. You have SPAD which is parked under the Prime Minister's Department, JPJ which is under the Transport Ministry, PUSPAKOM, JKJR, MIROS, all coexisting separately. Naturally, every time there is a fatal bus accident, there is a propensity for there to be a blame game given the multiple agencies overseeing the same if not similar issues.

On top of that, you have all that bureaucratic red tape at the top. For example, in SPAD, you have 5 Members of Commission overseeing the agency. Decisions made by the management team must go through the Members of Commission before it is passed on to the Prime Minister's Department or the Ministry of Finance for approval.

The effectiveness of PUSPAKOM is also questionable. Are the machines properly calibrated? How is DRB Hicom combating allegations of corruption and misconduct within PUSPAKOM? Are the inspection standards according to international norms? How did all those non-roadworthy heavy vehicles make it to our roads?

There are also rumours related to the issuance of public transport licenses. Some of the licenses issued under the now defunct Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) are said to be without conditions and that these licenses run for years hence the existing regulators have no grounds to suspend nor revoke them. It is also said that many of the bus and lorry operators have both underworld and political links and because of these links they are very well insulated against the long arms of the law and the authorities.

Whatever the problems are, I strongly believe that the first step should be to merge all these agencies and bodies into one entity and to park them under the Ministry of Transport. This will increase accountability and bring together all the resources that each agency claims they are lacking.

Transport authorities taken to task

PETALING JAYA: The authorities in charge of road transport were taken to task for failing to introduce any meaningful improvements to safety, in particular among express buses.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, expressed his disappointment with the authorities over their failure to implement the 51 recommendations of an indepen­dent advisory panel to prevent fatal accidents involving buses.

“If only some if not all of the re­­commendations had been implemented, we would not have to continue reading stories of fatal bus accidents in the papers,” he said when contacted by The Star yesterday.

Following the recent spate of deadly bus accidents in the past few years, Lee was made chair of the advisory panel set up to review and recommend improvements to this critical service.

He said it was sad if the efforts of the panel consisting of experts in various fields such as road and bus design, went to waste.

“Enough has been said about the issue with sufficient feedback and suggestions put forward,” he said.
Lee called on the authorities such as the Road Safety Department (JKJR), Puspakom, Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and bus operators to begin implemen­ting the recommendations before the next accident occurs.

Federation of Malaysia Consumers Association (Fomca) secretary-ge­neral Datuk Paul Selvaraj said SPAD should review its function following its seeming inaction.

“SPAD has to be held accountable simply because they are the regulators of public transport in the country.
“They should take important steps now even if it is going to be unpopular with bus operators because the fate of the consumers should be put first above all,” he said.

On Sunday, a double-decker ex­­press bus plunged down a slope along the Kuantan-Segamat trunk road causing the death of a passenger.

The bus was carrying about 40 people when it crashed near the Sungai Jernih plantation at around 4.40pm.
This was the third incident invol­ving an express bus in Pahang over the past eight days.

An Etika Express bus crashed into a road divider on the East Coast Expressway and flipped over on Saturday, leaving most of its 28 passengers injured.

On April 12, a Transnasional double-decker bus hit an electric pole and overturned in Bentong, killing three passengers.

However, SPAD has warned that quick suspension of bus operators for infractions such as fatal bus ac­cidents may lead to passengers stranded at bus terminals.

“If I suspend operators, the people will not have any transportation. I think we’ll have to find a way, but we will see whether the suspension will work or not,” said SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.

Syed Hamid added that bus licen­ces and, in turn, their drivers come under the Public Service Vehicle ca­tegory, which were not managed by SPAD, but by the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

He added that in principle, autho­rities such as JPJ and the police could conduct checks at all of the country’s bus terminals, though this would be a difficult thing to do in practice.

He also advised bus drivers who felt like they were being forced to work to report these instances to the Human Resources Ministry.


Stricter safety measures to be imposed, says minister

KUALA LUMPUR: Stricter measures are set to be imposed on bus operators and drivers in view of the poor safety record of the industry, said Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi.

For this, the ministry will be ha­­ving a meeting with relevant stakeholders that include the Land Public Transport Commission, the Road Safety Department, today to discuss measures that could be put to place to ensure the safety of bus passengers.

“The Government is looking at the bus accident seriously and we will do anything to do ensure the safety of the bus passengers,” he said when asked to comment on the case where a double-decker express bus plunged down a slope along the Kuantan-Segamat trunk road on Sunday near here, causing the death of a passenger.

The bus was carrying around 40 people when it crashed near the Sungai Jernih plantation at around 4.40pm on Sunday.

This was the third incident invol­ving an express bus in Pahang over the past eight days.
On April 12, a Transnasional double-decker express bus hit an electric pole and overturned in Bentong, killing three passengers.

Abdul Aziz stressed that action can be taken against bus operators who fail to comply with SPAD’s safety regulations.

Meanwhile, the driver of the tour bus involved in Sunday’s fatal accident along the Kuantan-Segamat trunk road has tested negative for drugs.

Pahang police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Sharifuddin Ab Ghani said a blood sample would be taken for further testing.

The driver of a double-decker bus involved in a crash at Bentong on April 12 had also claimed trial to a charge of driving under the influence of drugs and causing the death of three passengers.

Wan Khairul Affendi Wan Mustapa, 39, was accused of committing the offence at Km11 of Jalan Baru Bentong-Raub at about 12.30am.

Magistrate Mohd Isa Md Nor fixed bail at RM4,000 with one surety and set May 19 for the case to be mentioned.

In the incident, the vehicle driven by Wan Khairul Affendi hit a electric pole and overturned, killing Saeed Mohamad Mohamud Abdalla, 31; Zarifah Alias, 26; and Suhaisam Che Abdulla, 33.

His bus driving licence will also be suspended until the case is settled.

Wan Khairul had also pleaded not guilty to a charge of drug abuse last Wednesday.


Spotlight on double-decker buses

SEPANG: The safety of double-decker buses does not appear to fall under the jurisdiction of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), but under other agencies such as Puspakom and Road Transport Department (JPJ).

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the commission is only responsible for issuing the licence.
"We only issue licences for such buses to operate after they have gone through a thorough inspection by the authorities," he said.

"After going through the inspection, and if the buses are certified, then only we will release the licence to the operators. The initial stages are all done by other related agencies," he added.

Syed Hamid said SPAD is not trying to play the blame game, but "however, I can see that there are some problems on enforcement".

"All of the agencies related to this should be standardised to avoid any overlapping of jurisdiction," he said when responding to a question by reporters accompanying him on a tour of klia2 on whether double-decker buses are safe for use on our roads.

On working hours for bus drivers, he said they should not keep silent if they were forced to work more than their designated hours.

"They can take their plight to the Ministry of Human Resources. There should not be any abuse of working conditions of drivers," he said.

Meanwhile, MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau chairman Jason Teoh said in a statement bus drivers should be paid a minimum wage and alternate drivers provided for long trips.

"They should also be given meals, telephone allowances capped with a ceiling and likewise be paid over time rates as well," he said, adding that inter-state bus drivers and especially those taking the wheel after 6pm and whose shift exceeds 12 hours should be given a mandatory rest period of eight hours.

Teoh said the move will not only motivate the drivers but also ensure safety of the passengers.

On April 13, a double-decker bus crashed at KM11 of the Jalan Bentong-Raub, killing three people and injuring 10.

On Sunday, a double-decker bus plunged into a ravine on the Kuantan-Segamat highway, killing one and injuring 39 passengers.


SPAD suspends permits of 27 express buses

KUALA LUMPUR: The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is suspending the permits of 27 Transnasional express buses plying the East-North Sector effective Wednesday following accidents involving buses of the company.

SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal in a statement here today said the decision was taken after audits found the company did not monitor speed limits,and found that Global Positioning System (GPS) for the buses were not functioning.

He said SPAD would also be taking stern action against the bus companies whose buses were involved in accidents in Temerloh and Pekan, Pahang if they were found to have violated their licensing conditions.
"It was made compulsory in 2010 that all express and tour buses must be equipped with GPS. This was part of their licensing condition. Thus, each of the bus operator must ensure the GPS functions properly.

"The circular on the implementation of SPAD's Safety-Industry Code of Practice (ICOP) for bus operators issued last year makes it incumbent on them to ensure all aspects of driver management and vehicle maintenance are done properly and on schedule," he said.

He said the circular also stressed on adhering to speed limits which was one of the critical elements that had to be monitored by bus operators at all times.

He added that SPAD would not compromise with any bus operator who disregarded this (adherence to speed limits).

"SPAD is also looking into the suitability of making it compulsory for commercial vehicles to install black boxes," he said.

In the Pekan incident yesterday, a tourist was killed while 39 other passengers were injured after their tour bus was involved in an accident at KM70 of the Kuantan-Segamat Highway.

On Monday, three passengers, including an 11-month old baby were seriously injured when an express bus carrying 27 passengers was involved in an accident at KM116 of the East Coast Highway near Temerloh.
On April 13, a double-decker Transnasional express bus from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu, Kelantan crashed at KM11, Jalan Bentong-Raub, killing three passengers and injuring 10 others. – Bernama


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bus plunges into deep ravine

For the first time ever, I personally witnessed the rescue team lifting up the victims from the ravine. I happened to be traveling from Penang to Kuala Lumpur in my personal vehicle when this accident happened on the opposite side of the road. Inter-city bus accidents are a norm in Malaysia. How many more lives must be lost before the authorities take interest in improving the safety of these buses.


IPOH: An express bus fell into a 30-metre-deep ravine after veering off the North-South Expressway near Gua Tempurung in Gopeng.

Kampar OCPD Supt Ng Kong Soon said the Expres Konsortium bus driver Hasmir Arsat, 42, was killed instantly while two passengers were left seriously injured after the incident at KM301.5 of the expressway, at about 4.25pm yesterday.

Supt Ng said the injured victims, identified as Mong Ming Chai, 48, from Kuala Kangsar and Farahzela Zainal Abidin, 27, from Sungai Siput, were rushed to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital here for treatment.

The bus, he added, was heading north at the time of the incident.

“Initial investigation showed that the bus driver could have lost control of the vehicle while trying to avoid a vehicle, which had skidded in front of it.

“As far as we know, there were only three people on board the bus.

“However, the police and the Fire and Rescue Department are still checking to ensure there are no other victims,” Supt Ng said.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Genting bus crash: Let's not point fingers, says Hisham

 As Transport Minister, Datuk Seri should know that any investigation shall be carried out by SPAD and not JPJ. Please bring SPAD under your wings as well and not leave it with the Prime Minister's Department which might have sidelined the importance of SPAD.


KUALA LUMPUR: All efforts should be focused on saving the victims of the horrific bus crash in Genting Highlands, and not on pointing fingers at anyone, said acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said he did not want innocent parties to be blamed in this highly emotional situation.

“The most important thing now is to identify whether any survivor has been left behind,” he told reporters during the Defence Ministry’s Hari Raya open house here yesterday.

Hishammuddin, who is also the Defence Minister, expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and gave his assurance that the Government would leave no stone unturned in uncovering the cause of the incident.

“I have asked the agencies under the Transport Ministry, including the Road Transport Department, to start investigating the cause of the incident.

“I don’t want to say more than that because efforts are still under way to rescue those who are still trapped,” he said.

Hishammuddin said this was not the first such incident to occur at Genting, adding that there were many factors which could have caused the 2.20pm crash to happen, whether it was the fault of the driver, the vehicle, the road, or a combination of these.

“As long as I am heading the ministry, we will ensure that no innocent party will be made a victim out of something I believe everyone sees as a tragedy,” he said, adding that he was awaiting further reports on the situation.

Meanwhile, Bentong MP Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said bus companies need to be accountable for their drivers’ conduct as negligence could put lives at risk.

According to Liow, the bus was “very wobbly” moments before the accident.

“This could mean that it may not have been in the best condition,” he said after a briefing by rescue personnel at the site.

“I don’t want to speculate. Some say it was the driver’s fault, while some said it was the brakes. Let’s leave it to the investigations.

“But what is clear is that bus companies have not taken past incidences here seriously. They should be making sure their buses are well-maintained and their drivers healthy.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

37 dead in Genting bus crash

Five and a half years have passed since this blog was established, the safety of our public transportation have remained in a sorry state. I still see many express buses speeding on the road, many stage buses which are not road-worthy so on and so forth. Promises were made by ministers, politicians and authorities after each fatal accident but they were never fulfilled.

Folks at Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD) have worked tirelessly over the last 3 years and the same folks have presented many brilliant ideas and proposals to SPAD's Member of Commission to transform Malaysia's public transport at the annual strategic meeting. Unfortunately, I have not seen any implementation over the years. What are the Members of Commission for? Did they escalate these ideas to the Prime Minister's Department or do they have other priorities?


PETALING JAYA: Thirty-seven people were killed in the country's worst road tragedy, after a bus carrying 53 plunged into a 60m ravine near Genting Highlands around 2.45pm Wednesday.

The dead included 24 males and 13 females. Sixteen people were injured in the incident.

The search and rescue operation was called off at 10pm.

According to Fire and Rescue Department deputy director-general Datuk Soiman Jahid, the dead included the driver of the bus.

It is believed that the driver had lost control of the bus, which then rammed a divider before plunging down the gorge.

Some of the passengers were flung from the bus during the incident.

According to the police, more than half the passengers on the bus were foreigners, from China, Bangladesh and Thailand

The bus was also overloaded as its capacity was 44 passengers, authorities said.

The accident occurred at KM36 of the Genting-Kuala Lumpur road, some two kilometres from the Chin Swee Caves Temple, as the bus carrying 53 people was coming down from Genting Highlands and heading towards Kuala Lumpur.

Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah and Bentong MP Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai were among those who arrived at the scene earlier in the evening and were briefed by authorities.

Earlier, rescuers worked frantically to reach people trapped in the bus. Some 30 policemen and nine ambulances were at the scene.

Traffic in the area was at a standstill as police ensured rescue vehicles could reach the scene of the accident.
Bentong OCPD Supt Mansor Mohd Noor confirmed the incident to The Star but could not give further details.

"I can confirm that there were passengers on the bus but how many there were I don't know yet.
"Authorities are en route to the site now," he said.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Express Bus Drivers Deserve Better

OVER the next few days, express buses are set to roll out of cities and towns in huge numbers for the Hari Raya "balik kampung" exodus.

Normally, tickets for these trips are sold out well in advance as thousands of people who work in the urban centres join in the big rush back to their hometowns to celebrate the festive occasion.

Besides the established bus companies doing roaring business, there are also others who are given one-off permits to use factory, tourist or even school buses to cope with the high volume of travellers.

Given the high number of express buses criss-crossing the country during the period, sufficient laws are in place by the police, Road Transport Department and Road Safety Department to govern the industry. And due to frequent fatal accidents involving express buses in the last five years, a new set of legislation called the Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Code of Practice has been added.

This has created greater awareness and concern among operators over passenger safety. There is also the fear of having their permits suspended or revoked in cases where bus accidents result in many deaths.
As far as enforcement is concerned, there seems to be an upsurge during the Ops Sikap safety campaign which runs a week before and a week after the festive season. This year, Ops Sikap has been renamed Ops Selamat.

But for the most part of the year, the problem lies with lax enforcement and this is when accidents involving express buses are reportedly on the rise.

While many bus companies are investing heavily on new fleets of luxury and double-decker buses, they don't seem to be particularly generous when it comes to the welfare of what I consider to be the most important people in the industry – the bus drivers.

I sat down last week with two drivers at Kuala Lumpur's Hang Tuah Bus Station to get their side of the story and true enough, the impression I got was that the people behind the wheel carrying so many lives on long and monotonous journeys are a demotivated lot.

"Do you have basic pay and how many days off do you have in a week?" I asked.

It came as a shock to me to find that they don't even have a basic salary and are on the road most of the week.

They are paid "trip allowances" of RM80 a trip and to take home between RM2,000 and RM3,000 a month, they have to make as many trips as possible, foregoing sleep and rest.

The Consumers' Association of Penang once highlighted the case of bus drivers staying awake with the help of psychotropic pills. It cited the confession of a drug-using driver plying the Kuala Lumpur-Terengganu route for 10 years. With the pill, he said "eyes are awake but the brain is asleep", adding that most drivers tend to speed because they would otherwise feel sleepy.

The bus drivers I spoke with said most accidents tend to happen towards the end of a long journey when the body is fatigued.

A lot of factors have been blamed for fatal express bus accidents but common sense dictates that a sleepy driver is a major cause, and this seems to be ignored by the authorities and industry players.

In cases where the driver also gets killed in an accident, the authorities investigating the tragedy can not determine the cause because a dead men tell no tales.

Malaysia's worst ever road accident occurred at 4.20am on Aug 13, 2007 when an express bus from Johor Baru skidded and overturned near Bukit Gantang in Perak, killing 20 people including the driver.

According to co-driver V. Veeraman, the driver Rohizan Abu Bakar, had driven 700km over nine hours with only a brief break in between on that fateful day.

Although the two-driver regulation was in place then, it proved to be useless because, according to Veeraman, he himself was fast asleep when the accident happened.

On Dec 26, 2009, 10 passengers died when the express bus they were travelling in crashed through a guardrail near the Ipoh toll plaza. Driver Mohd Kamil Rashid told police he was sleepy at the time of the crash. Being sleepy proved to be no defence as Mohd Kamil is now serving a four-year jail sentence.

There is no excuse whatsoever for a co-driver, who is supposed to take over in the event the first driver becomes tired or sleepy, to be fast asleep as in the Bukit Gantang tragedy.

The fact that this is still happening goes to show that bus companies have done little or nothing to give their drivers a better deal.

To enhance road safety, the government set up a Road Safety Department a few years ago. But this department has not been able to enforce the mandatory use of safety belts on board express buses, despite the high death toll in crashes. If such regulations can be enforced on car drivers and passengers, why not on express bus passengers and drivers?

I'm told that this is because many buses have plywood flooring which is not strong enough to retrofit anchorage points for seat belts. This means that, although on the outside our express buses look tough and modern, the flooring is not up to international standards and poses high safety risks.

The Transport Ministry should revisit this aspect given the vulnerability of these vehicles. It's also time for another rule to enhance the status of bus drivers through more caring incentives.

Everyone must play their part in ensuring safe travel this festive season.

Azman Ujang is a former editor-in-chief of Bernama. Comments: letters@thesundaily.com

Friday, November 11, 2011

Four die in bus-trailer accident near Behrang

PETALING JAYA: Three students and a teacher from SMK Air Merah, Kulim, died after the chartered bus they were travelling in was involved in an accident with a trailer laden with sand at KM382 on the North-South Expressway near Behrang.

The students were on their way from Kulim to Genting Highlands in the 4.45am incident.

Five remain critically injured at the Slim River Hospital. Another 25 were were also injured.

A PLUS official said efforts to extricate the bodies were still ongoing while details of how the accident happened and what caused the bus to overturn remain unclear.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Express bus plunges into drain, 25 hurt

KULAIJAYA: Three people, including a Cambodian tourist, sustained major injuries and 22 others suffered minor cuts when the express bus they were travelling in went out of control and plunged into a drain.

The incident occurred around 4.40am at KM19 along the Ayer Hitam-Johor Baru stretch here Monday.

A passenger said the accident occured a few minutes after the bus had passed the toll station in Kulai, when the vehicle swerved violently, hit a divider and plunged into the drain.

Several passengers, who claimed the bus was speeding, were thrown out of the vehicle.

Johor Baru (North) deputy OCPD Supt Mohd Akhir Ishak said police were questioning the 45-year-old bus driver, adding that all passengers were sent to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital for treatment.

He said only three passengers sustained major injuries and this included the Cambodian tourist, who broke his left leg.

Monday, December 20, 2010

27 killed as tour bus overturns in Cameron Highlands

IPOH: Twenty-seven passengers of a tour bus were killed after the vehicle hit a divider and overturned on its way down from Cameron Highlands Monday.

Twenty-two died at the scene of the accident and five at the Raja Permaisuri hospital here. Another 10 injured, four of whom are men, were being treated at the hospital. Two of the men were said to be in critical condition.

This is believed to be the worst road accident in the nation's history.

Those killed were two Malaysians and 25 Thai nationals. The bus had 37 passengers onboard, 34 of them Thai tourists.

According to Perak state deputy CPO SAC Datuk Zakaria Yusof, the cause of the accident could have been speeding or brake failure.

"The driver was trying to negotiate a sharp bend but failed, causing the vehicle to hit a divider before overturning.

"The bus landed on its roof in a ditch about 51m away from the divider," SAC Zakaria said, adding that the impact killed 22 of the victims on the spot.

The accident occured at KM15 of the Cameron Highlands-Simpang Pulai road at 11.40am. The bus was heading to Kuala Lumpur from Cameron Highlands.

It is learn that the excursion bus company is registered in Jitra.

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 mangled vehicle.

It took about 100 police, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Department and Public Works Department personnel over three hours to retrieve the bodies.

The wreckage was finally towed downhill at about 4pm, causing massive jams on both sides of the road as far as 5km away.

It is learnt that of the 10 survivors, one was discharged after being treated for minor injuries, three were undergoing surgery and the rest warded, as at 7pm.

Meanwhile, the police have issued the names of 26 of those killed. They are:

1.Omar Shahidan, 48 (male, Malaysian bus driver)
2. Soontorn a/l Kian, 38 (male, Malaysian tour guide of Siamese descent)
3. Charcart Knagsuwan, 48 (male)
4. Thanvaraj Poolsang, 36 (female)
5. Nutthiya Inyyim, 50 (female)
6. Poonporn Poolsaene, 41 (male)
7. Sumruay Swatphet, 48 (male)
8. Putharee Akkrarachaw Wanont, 42 (female)
9. Ponethanest Akkrarachaw Wanont, 45 (male)
10. Suchanchida Chaiaueai, 40 (female)
11. Sriwai Swatphet, 42 (female)
12. Prinya Prassakulchai, 48 (female)
13. Chutima Throukool, 25 (female)
14. Thitisak Pongtanarat, 51 (male)
15. Junpen Pongtanarat, 50 (female)
16. Phayong Kruanjinli, 59 (male)
17. Ekachai Na Bangxang, 64 (male)
18. Mantana Phromduag, 51 (female)
19. Rungnada Klungsawan (female)
20. Darunee Songserm (female)
21. Isariya Thiangtham, 25 (female)
22. Ampaiwan Thiangtham, 50 (female)
23. Maliwan Mekmahaprom, 53 (female)
24. Achara Wiwat, 36 (female)
25. Natkritta Poolsaeng, six, (female)
26. Weera Chuntanagon (male)

Major bus accidents in Malaysia in recent years:

Dec 17: Four prison officers killed after a Prisons Department bus plunged into a ravine along the hilly and winding Tambunan-Kota Kinabalu trunk road.

Oct 29: Seven passengers, aged between 13 and 28, killed after their bus skidded and overtured at KM38 Genting Sempah, while enroute to Kuala Lumpur. It was later revealed the driver of the bus had no valid driving licence.

Oct 10: Thirteen killed in bus crash along KM223 of the North-South Expressway (NSE), near the Simpang Ampat toll plaza.

Dec 25, 2009: Ten killed after a double-decker express bus skidded and hit a road divider at KM272.8 of the NSE, after the Ipoh Selatan toll plaza (northbound).

Dec 7, 2008: Ten dead after an express bus skided and overturned at KM146.5 of the NSE, near Pagoh, Johor.

Aug 13, 2007: One of the worst road crashes in Malaysian history claims 22 lives. The bus they victims were in crashed at KM229 of the NSE, near the Bukit Gantang rest area.

March 9, 2007: Six killed after an express bus plunged into a ravine at KM254, NSE, near the Sg Perak rest and recreation area.

July 30, 2006: Eleven pilgrims to the annual St Anne's Feast in Penang were killed when their chartered bus overturned at KM160.8 of the NSE, near the Jawi interchange at Nibong Tebal.

Nov 23, 2003: Fourteen killed when an express bus collides with another bus at KM63, Jalan Lipis-Merapoh near the Pahang-Kelantan border.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Revoked: Licences of two bus companies involved in two fatal crashes

It took the lives of dozens for them to revoke the licences of these two bus companies.

Why can't they do something to stop these accidents/offences once and for all!


The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) has revoked the express and chartered bus licences of two companies whose buses were involved in two fatal accidents last month.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said all 11 express bus licences of Syarikat Kuala Lumpur-Malacca Express Sdn Bhd, and all 99 chartered bus licences of Syarikat Taipan Suria (MM2H) Sdn Bhd have been revoked with immediate effect.

Syarikat Taipan Suria’s approval offer letter for chartered bus had also been revoked, he said.

“I strongly warn all commercial vehicle operators against being lackadaisical and irresponsible on the safety of public transport users and road users.

“I won’t hesitate to take strict action such as suspending and revoking licences of errant operators,” he told reporters at Parliament lobby.

Nazri said the action against Syarikat Kuala Lumpur-Malacca Express was taken following the accident in Negri Sembilan on Oct 10 which left 13 people dead.

He said the company had contravened the Motor Vehicle Rules (Commercial Transportation) 1959 and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987.

Some of the offences included failure to notify the CVLB on changes to the company’s operational address, failure to get CVLB approval on changes to the company’s equity and contravening licence conditions, including the management of company, and those of the vehicle, driver and journeys.

On Syarikat Taipan Suria, Nazri said the action taken on the company was in connection with the accident on Oct 29 on the Karak Highway, where seven people lost their lives.

Nazri said the company also admitted that the bus involved in the crash was operated by a third party.

CVLB director Datin Naimah Ramli said the companies have 30 days to submit their appeals.

Deputy Federal traffic chief ACP Mohd Puad Abd Latiff said the Syarikat Taipan Suria driver was under detention. “He fractured his leg, and we will wait for him to recover from the trauma before taking further action,” he said.

The Syarikat Kuala Lumpur-Malacca Express driver died in the crash.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Karak bus crash: Blacklisted driver had no licence for past 13 years

The Star Online

In Baling, families of the seven victims who were killed claimed that the ill-fated bus was not the one promised by the bus company and was not in good condition.

KUALA LUMPUR: The bus driver involved in Friday’s bus crash that killed seven passengers has held no driving licence for the past 13 years, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha.

In fact, he had held only a learner licence in 1997. After that, he was blacklisted, Kong told Sin Chew Daily on Saturday.

“What makes me angry is that the bus operator had employed a driver without a licence.

“This driver must be charged in court and his employer must take full responsibility,” he said, adding that the ministry had constantly advised public transport companies to ensure all drivers had valid licences, were in good health and a clean driving record.

Kong also ordered the Road Transport Department to investigate the track records of the driver and the bus operator and work with other related authorities to take them to court.

On Friday night the bus skidded and overturned at KM38 Genting Sempah killing seven and injuring 39 others

Selangor Public Order and Traffic Chief Supt Che Husin Omar said Saturday the Road Transport Department (JPJ) had confirmed that the driver did not have a valid driving licence, Bernama reported earlier.

"The driver had initially admitted to police that he had a driving licence but when JPJ conducted a search, it was found that he did not have one," he told Bernama when contacted here Saturday.

Che Husin said the driver, who suffered a broken right leg and was currently receiving treatment at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, was detained for further investigations.

"He will be investigated under Section 41 of the Road Transport Act 1987, for reckless driving and causing death," he said.

Che Husin said police would be inspecting the black box and also investigating whether the driver had any past record for traffic offences or driving without a licence.

The ill-fated bus, with 44 youths aged between 14 and 25 from several villages in Baling, Kedah, was on an educational trip and had left Kedah at 11pm Thursday and arrived in Genting Highlands at 8am Friday.

At 7pm Friday, the group left Genting Highlands for Kampung Melayu Subang to participate in a homestay programme but was involved in the accident.

During the accident, seven people were killed, 17 seriously injured while 22 others escaped with minor injuries, including the two bus drivers.

Meanwhile, in Baling, families of the seven victims who were killed claimed that the ill-fated bus was not the one promised by the bus company.

Family members, when met in Kampung Baru, Mukim Siong were disappointed with the bus company for failing to keep their promise of providing a bus that was in good condition.

Mustaffa Ibrahim, 60, said the family accepted the destiny of his child, Mohd Fahmi, 17, because it was fated but expressed disappointment after realising that the bus company had provided a bus that was not in good condition.

"They were promised a bus that was good but we only realised that it was not the bus that the company provided for the tour," he said when met in his house here Saturday.

Those who were killed were Mohd Zaidi Mohd Sufian, 28, a religious teacher, Mohammad Amirul Mohamat Isa, 13, Mohamad Khairy Mohamad Marzali, 14, Mohamad Yussof Akhil, 16, Mohamed Firdaus Rosedi, 16, Mohd Fahmi Mustaffa, 17, and Mohd Ridzuan Husin, 17.

Mustaffa, an Imam in a local mosque, said all seven who died were related to each other and urged the authorities to enforce strict measures to ensure such incidents do not recur.

Husin Hamid, 54, the father of Mohd Ridzuan who was also killed, said those responsible for the accident must be dealt with by the authorities.

Meanwhile, Baling Umno division secretary Abdullah Sani Mahmud said the Youth and Sports department would handle matters related to bringing the bodies of the death to Baling.

Seven killed in bus crash

The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: Seven people were killed and 39 others injured in a bus accident at Genting Sempah.

The accident, which happened at 7.50pm last night, involved a group from the 4B Youth Movement, Kampung Siong, Kedah, said Selangor traffic chief Supt Che Hussein Omar.

“Seventeen were seriously injured while the remaining 22 suffered minor injuries,” he said.

“Two people were thrown out from the bus.”

He added police were investigating the driver for reckless driving.

The group of 44 had chartered an express bus from Baling for the trip.

It is learnt that the bus driver lost control of the vehicle before it hit the road divider and overturned several times at KM38 of Jalan Genting Sempah, some 300m from the Karak Highway.

At press time, the dead were identified as Muhammad Amirul Mohamad, 13, Muhamad Khairy Muhammad, 16, Mohd Firdaus Rosedi, 16, Mohamad Yussuf Akhif, 16, Mohd Ridzuan Husin, 17 and Mohd Fahmi Mustafa, 17.

The co-ordinator of the trip, Ustaz Mohd Zaidi Mohd Sufian, 28, died on the way to Selayang Hospital.

The driver and co-driver escaped with injuries.

The group was on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Genting Highlands where they had spent the night.

The dead were sent to the Sungai Buloh Hospital.

The injured were brought to the Bentong, Kuala Lumpur (HKL) and Selayang hospitals.

The co-driver said he was asleep when the crash happened.

“When I got up, the bus was rolling,” he added.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Expressing our horror is not good enough

WE have said it before. And we will say it again. For Malaysians to continue with their lackadaisical attitude towards matters of life and death on our roads is to continue to let more people die in vain.

On the evening of Oct 10, a tragic accident occurred on the North-South Expressway at Simpang Ampat near the Negri Sembilan-Malacca border involving an express bus heading north and five other vehicles coming from the opposite direction.

These are the 12 lives lost, eight of whom are under the age of 25, of which five will never celebrate their 21st birthday.

Remember these names: Muhammad Farizuddin Talib, 19; Azizi Ajis, 20; Norazmi Abdul Karim, 24; Sharene Sofia Fadzry Tan, 18; Nur Shapika Baba, 19; Ng Sok Kuan, 52; Pang Shi Moei, 57; Goo Chuan Heng, 34; and the three from Myanmar, Kam Khaw Tuai, 19, Pau Khan Tual, 21, and Cin Thawn Tuang, 21 and R. Ramachandra, 52. Let us not treat them as mere statistics but as real people with families and friends. And let not the tears of their loved ones be for nothing.

The blame game is being played, and there is a familiar refrain to all the comments made so far. So what are we to do? Let us bear in mind that a skeptical public will not be easily convinced because there is a strong negative perception of how serious we are in addressing this issue.

When initial eye-witness accounts claimed the express bus driver was speeding, the immediate response was: “Did the driver have a record? Was he on drugs? Had he been at the wheel for more than eight hours that day?”

That these questions are even being asked reveals that we are all too familiar with the scenario whereby after an accident, we learn to our horror that the driver had a string of summonses to his name and was not fit to even drive his own car, let alone be entrusted with ferrying so many people from one destination to another.

But in this case, the driver apparently had a clean record. And so the cynic in us asks: “Well, it’s just that he had never been caught before!”

To be fair, let us not be drawn into a debate that is premised more on the emotion of the day rather than what the hard facts will reveal after a proper investigation.

But still, we must pose some serious questions for all parties to address and to take remedial action.

To the bus operators: Are your vehicles in tip-top condition? Are all your drivers in good health and mentally prepared to take the long journeys? Are you paying fair wages and offering good working conditions? Do you limit the number of trips your driver can make per day and the number of days he can drive consecutively?

To the enforcement authorities, in particular, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) and Puspakom: Are you checking that all safety requirements are adhered to? Are you ensuring that all the drivers are certified fit to drive and have undergone the necessary tests? Have all the operators undergone the Safety, Health and Environmental Management (SHE) course?

To the licensing authority, the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board: Are you checking on the records of the operators before renewing their operating permits? Do you ensure that the drivers do not have criminal records or traffic summonses?

To the highway operators: Are there safety issues with regard to the highways you manage? Must killer stretches remain or are there ways to make them safe? What are the conditions of the guardrails that divide the two directions of traffic? What is the quality of your maintenance and upgrading work?

To the lawmakers: Make it mandatory for speed-limiting devices and passenger seat belts to be installed on all express buses. Limit the number of hours a driver can be at the wheel, and for journeys exceeding, say four hours, make it mandatory for a second driver to be on board. Set a minimum wage for the drivers and ensure reasonable working conditions.

Increase the penalties, not only on the drivers, but also on the operators. The onus must be on the operators to maintain a reliable fleet of buses and drivers.

All accidents and infringements must be faithfully tabulated and the operator be stopped from operating when the number of points reaches a certain level. Businesses understand the bottom line so we must have the political will to hit them where it hurts the most.

Read the names again and tell yourself that if the necessary steps are not taken, your loved ones may one day be on such a list.

Monday, October 11, 2010

12 killed in horror crash near NS-Malacca border

Why am I not surprised?

History repeats itself again and again due to inaction on the part of the Transport Ministry/Government. What happened to the Land Transport Commission and the string ideas, regulations and proposals to regulate express buses since the last horror crash?


SEREMBAN: Twelve people were killed when a north-bound express bus crashed through the guardrail and ploughed into five vehicles heading in the opposition direction at KM223.2 of the North South Expressway near Simpang Ampat here.

Forty-five others were also injured in the 7.45pm accident, which occured near the Negri Sembilan-Malacca border here yesterday.

Witnesses said the express bus crashed into the rear of a car before the driver lost control of his vehicle and rammed through the guardrail and onto the path of an oncoming bus, two cars and a motorcycle.

The impact caused the express bus to flip onto its side. The bus driver and motorcyclist were among the casualties. The oncoming bus belonged to the Welfare Department.

Apparently, out of the 45 injured, four have been rushed to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for treatment, 22 were sent to a hospital in Seremban and 12 to another hospital in Malacca.

The express bus had left Malacca about 45 minutes before the accident and was on its way to Kuala Lumpur.

The accident caused a traffic jam stretching for more than 25km along the expressway.

Of the 12 who died, eight were believed to be passengers from the express bus.

One of them was decapitated.

Two others were from a MyVi, which was crushed by the bus, and another from a Honda Accord.

PLUS officials had to divert motorists at the Pedas/Linggi toll plaza as the south bound lanes were impassable to traffic.

A Plus traffic control centre spokesman said the accident occurred at about 6km from the Simpang Ampat toll near Alor Gajah, Malacca.

“The middle and left lanes for the south-bound traffic were blocked by the vehicles involved in the accident while the right lane for the north-bound traffic was closed to facilitate emergency works at the scene,” he added.

Sources said that the department’s bus was carrying delegates for a gathering of former servicemen, which was attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil earlier in the day.

“None of them in this bus was injured,” said Malaysia Ex-Servicemen’s Asso­ciation Datuk Muhammad Abdul Ghani.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Quick Clicks

Browse through buscrashnomore.blogspot.com easily with these links:


How You Can Help Offline
A Map To Mahindrama's Temple
The Memorial - 3rd February 2008
Malaysians, Do NOT Get Us In Trouble With Your Comments

Letters and Opinions In The Media

Taking a Gamble
A Timely Wake-up Call
Who Says Corruption Does Not Kill?
Better Bus Travel For All
Bus Tragedy Was No Accident
How Many More, How Long More Should We Wait?

Letters To The Editor Of The Star (regarding Slim River Bus Crash)

Letters From Inspiring Individuals

Haris Ibrahim's (the man behind the "Save The Judiciary" petition) Email
This Email Makes Sense
Student Writes Letter To The Prime Minister

Newspaper Clippings Regarding Past Bus Crashes

20 Dead In Malaysian Bus Crash
Bukit Gantang Bus Crash: Victim No.22 Succumbs
Bukit Gantang Crash Aftermath

Chan: Refresher Courses A Must

Errant Bus Operators and Drivers Targeted

Five agencies in blitz over errant buses
CVLB backs jail move
JPJ To Conduct Checks At Bus Terminals
CVLB cards for express bus drivers

Foundation Cites JPJ officers for alleged negligence
Past Bus Tragedies
Bukit Gantang Carnage : Kang Choy Pointing Finger Of Blame At Everybody Except Himself
Cops: No warrant of arrest for 'fatal crash' bus driver

Newspaper Clippings of The Slim River Bus Crash

Two die, three injured in bus crash

Dua maut, 9 parah bas terbalik
Bus crash: Driver had 13 outstanding summonses
Seorang lagi penumpang bas ekspres meninggal
Pesan Beli Kain Kafan
Family Mourns Loss Of Beautiful, Intelligent Go-getter
Penumpang nampak pemandu bas main sms
Nian Ning's Memorial (Sin Chew Daily, Guang Ming, Nanyang)
Online petition for Nian Ning
Spotlight: Website receives 10,000 signatures


In Loving Memory of Lee Nian Ning (1987-2008)


Pictures That Will Be Remembered

In Loving Memory of Lee Nian Ning (1987-2008)

Family mourns loss of beautiful, intelligent go-getter

If you have a blog and you happen to blog about this tragic accident or about any of the three victims who lost their lives, kindly leave your permalinks in the comment box so that we can add your link to the list.


5x Mom - Do Something, Get Involved
Aaron Peng - An Accident Waiting to Happen? Or just Pure Negligence?
Abigail - In Loving Memory
Ada Foo - =(
Alexlim - Bus Crash No More!!!
Alpha Lim - Can You Make A Difference?
Alyson - Bus Crash No More
Amelia - Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy
Amelia Tay - Bus Crash No More
An Acquired Taste - If Somebody Cared
An Extraordinary Life - In Loving Memory of Nian Ning (1987-2008)
Angelicassie - you only live once
Angie Lim - Petitions and Sorrow
Antraxxxx - Help Nian Ning's Family. Banish The Devils Off The Road
Aronil - Just Me - Lee Nian Ning
Az1 - Hell Bus
Baking Music - Life's Journey Is Like Baking Bread
Bangsa Malaysia - Bus Crash No More
Beatrice Chin - What’s with all the Bus Crashes?!!?
Bongholio - Lee Nian Ning, RIP. Daughter, Doctor to be, PSD Scholar and Blogger (1987-2008)
Casper - An Unforeseen Death
Charmaine Tung - Oh-So-Sudden
Chen Chow - In Memory of Lee Nian Ning (1987-2008)
Chin - People Would Stop To Hold Their Heads
Cheryl - RIP Nian Ning
Chrys - Irresponsible Bus Drivers - Harbingers of Doom
Cuxinn - Lee Nian Ning
David Cheong - Chinese New Year is not what it used to be...
Davids Lim - In Memory of Lee Nian Ning
Deaf-Knee - Opposite Of Life Is Not Death
Desmond Tan - Not The Driver's Fault?
Desmond Tan - Tribute to Nianz
Desmond Tan - It's Amazing....It's Getting Attention
Desmond Tan- Solemn
Diane Cheah - Be Heard
Doggy Thoughts - RIP Nian Ning
Dr. Saravanan R. - Bus Crash No More
E-Jian - Rest In Peace
Eddie Lim - Sign Petition Now
Enter My Paradise - Rest In Peace Lee Nian Ning
Exotique Toxin - It Goes On
Elyn - sob stories?
Eve - Let's Do Ourselves A Favour
Eyeris - Random Links To Stuff I Wanna Blog About But Have No Time To
fabs - sad...sad...
Fiona Lee - a twist of fate..
Flower Monster - I Have A Blog
Footiam - Caring Moments
Genova - Bus Crash No More
Gloria Fong - R.I.P. Nian Ning
harassarah - RIP
Haris Ibrahim of The People's Parliment - Bus Crash No More (An Online Petition)
Him Vingie - Two Die Three Injured In Bus Accident
Huei - Buses Kills
Hui Ling - Bus Crash No More
Isaac's Blog - A Moment of Silence
Isaac's Blog - Please Give A Lending Hand To Spread This News
James Ooi @ The J Blog - Bus Crashes - When Is It Going To End?
James Ooi @ The J Blog - Check On Metro Bus Drivers Too
Jamie - A Tragic Accident On Slim River
Jase Lee - Bad Bus Drivers
Jason Lim- You Will Be Remembered
Jason Lim- Malaysians Mudah Lupa
Jason Lim- The Petition Is Up - Make A Difference
Jason Mumbles - Help Nian Ning's Family, Fight With Them
Jason Tan - Lee Nian Ning's Memorial Service
Jamie Lim's Site - Please Do Something
Jed Chuan - Life Lost
Jeff Ooi - Can You Make a Difference, MoT?
Jen - Bus Crash No More
Jennihsurf.net - Life is Precious. Please Love Each Other
Jing Ju - My Heart Aches Everytime I Hear
Jolene Lai - Help Nian Ning's Family, Fight With Them
Jolene Lai - RIP : I Never Knew Her But I Can Just Imagine
Jolene Lai - The Petittion Is Up
Jon Cheah - Petition For A Safer Long Distance Bus
Joo Sing - In loving memory of Lee Nian Ning (1987-2008)
Jun Lin - One way Ticket
Jun Lin - Memorial Service, Post-event report/thoughts
Jun Qi - Wednesday, January 30 2008
Jymystique - Young Lives Taken Becoz of Reckless Bus Drivers Taken each Year, Again and Again!!
Kanki - Life Is Full of Unpredictables
Kah Yin - Deeply Miss~Nianz
Kavita - The Bus Crash
Kellster - Monday, January 28, 2008
Kennysia - Blog Plug
Kevin Goh - May You Rest In Peace to the beloved Lee Nian Ning
Khngyi - One Voice
Khiahsu - Bus Crash No More
Kinkybluefairy - Excerpt
Klang Community Space - Kimmy Sia - Bus Crash No More
Kylie - Petition Up
Kyspeaks - Are You Travelling By Long Haul Bus This CNY?
Life is One Big Party When You're Still Young - Nian
Lingzie - We Can Make A Difference!
Loving Life - Sooky - Reckless Bus Drivers Taking Lives
Malaysian Medical Resources - Palmdoc - Death of A Medical Student
May Leng - In Loving Memory of Lee Nian Ning (1987-2008)
Melllzzz - Tragedy
Milin - [Petition] Bus Crash No More
Mingming - RIP
Mr. Berng - Brand New Year, Same Old Luck
Mushie Moshiu - The Lost of Nian Ning
My Name is Adelyn - Followup On Nian Ning
My World, My Life - If You Care, A Message
Nickypm - Yet another tragedy
Noc - Pls support them~!!!
Noir Illusions - Bus Crash
Norman Ng - When Do We Stop Running Away...?
Orange - Buses....
Orang Cina - Naik Bas
Pablopabla - Lee Nian Ning's Case. Some thoughts...
Pamela Tan - pam: debelief
Patchay - Now You Can Make A Difference
Patrick Gun - Help Nian Ning's Family, Fight With Them
Paul - Lost For Words
Pei Wen - A Message
Personal Bubble - Chiew - A Real Loss
Pingy Ping - Lee Nian Ning's Tragedy
Pinkpau - These Things In Point Form
Psychobabble by Xinch - Remember Nian Ning
Puckishkel - RIP: Lee Nian Ning 1987-2008
Pyroboy1911 - Paying Last Respects...
Rindiggfelt - Rest in peace, my dear friend.
Ryan - Let's Put A Full Stop
Sai Mun - Bus Crash No More...
Sara Khoo (i hope you don't mind me putting this, Sara. Sara is the gf of Chung Lern's brother, Chung Wei. I cried again while reading her post) - Of loss and grief- Ning
Sesshy - In Memories Of Nian Ning
Shin - Bus Crash No More - Chinese Blog
Shiroyuu - It Never Rains But Pours
Shu-Fenn - May You Rest In Peace, Nian Ning...
Siciliano888 - Lee Nian Ning
SilverIsle - Two Old Old Eggs
Simontalks - Don't Play Games With Our Lives
SK Chua - Petition for our rights for safer roads and travel
SlowcatchupKuan - Online Petition: Safe Bus Ride
Stephen - Online Petition for Nian Ning
Su Lin - Affected
Sue Hsia - Life is so short.
Sue Me If You Can - Show Some Support
Susan Chan - A Tragic Accident
Suet Li - Sad Post
Syen, Neoh - My Space (kindly get permission to view this link)
Tan Shirlyn - Loss
Tan Yee Hou - I Am Not Happy
Tan Yee Wei - RIP: Can consumers make economics work in their favour?
Teefernee. - life, is just so fragile
Terence Lee - Bloggers, Time to be useful
The Cave - > : (
The Heart of the Matter - RIP Lee Nian Ning
The Journey of Life Through My Eyes - Cruelty of Life
The Ultimate Ulat King - For Better Future, Better Nation [Part 1]
Think It Out - Deathtraps on the Road
U~N - Another scary bus crash
Vanity is not a sin, darling - Adelene - It Goes On
Wei Kang - In Loving Memory~
Whatablog - No Title
White Tissues - Keili - An Accident Waiting To Happen
WilliamT - Support Petition
Wingz - When You Purchase A Bus Ticket to go back to your hometown...what do you expect?
Winnie Chua - Back In KL, Safe and Sound
Withtintin - Life is NOT and NEVER fair
WYP-paige- Make a Difference - Sign the Petition
Thomas - Bus Crash No More!!
Yee Lin - Rest in peace
Yeo Seak Yeong - Bus Crash No More
Yi Chin - In Loving Memory of Nian Ning
Yiktsay - There Ain't Justice
Yinanayi - Please Make A Difference
yonglong89 - A small favour from fellow bloggers
Yothemans.com - Life Is A Precious Thing
You Know You Love Me - Nian Ning
Youngyew - An Untimely Demise
You're Somekinda Something - Ling - Scary Buses
Yuin Yin - For the One We Love
Yun Ying - Bus Crash No More
Zemian - I Saw the Shadow of Death Again
ZThon - Let's Join Them
Zzzyun - D.e.a.t.h.
Zzzyun - Memories from a Memorial

Please be sensitive when you leave your blog links. We appreciate thoughts about the issue but we do not appreciate it if you are sending us a link of something you copied entirely without adding anything of your own. Thank you.

This list is compiled so that the the victims' families(as you can see, mostly Nian Ning's family) would like to see a whole compilation of warm messages. So do continue to share your thoughts, not something copied. :)

Updated by Jason as of 12th February 2008, 2351hrs, +8 GMT

Please keep it coming!

Petition To Have Safer Bus Rides For Long Distance Routes

*This post is a sticky. Scroll down for more latest postings.

We, the concerned youths of Malaysia express appalled anger towards the Slim River Bus Crash incident that claimed the life of Lee Nian Ning, Mohd. Zailani and Pang Boon Eng on the 25th of January 2008. This is not the first time that such an incident has occurred. Despite numerous complaints and public uproar in the past, incidents like this continue to occur. It was reported that the driver’s company had 13 summonses on that bus itself. We find it unacceptable that such a company could have operated that vehicle on the road.

What are the explanations?

Hundreds of thousands of university students just like Nian Ning and us rely on such public transport to travel back home. A human life should not be taken lightly.

How could a vehicle with 13 summonses be free on the roads and not be held by the authorities?

We, the following, hereby demand 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 in the future.

We will not be quiet until we see it in the media that satisfactory measures have been taken.

To sign the petition,

please click here

and submit your FULL NAME(as in IC. Please don't use your nicknames or initials.) and e-mail. It will be considered one e-signature upon completion.

Alternatively, you may contact any of our representatives near you. (note their contact details at the sidebar)

Please do not leave initials or nicknames, only full name is accepted.

We thank you for your co-operation. Let us pray for those who have died to make way for change and keep our fingers crossed that someone, anyone will hear us and enforce that change.

Please put this in forums, bulletins, emails, blogs.....everywhere. We need all the support we can get. This is for you as well.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Seven injured after express bus rammed into guardrail

KULAIJAYA: An express bus driver lost control of the vehicle and rammed into the guardrail along the North-South highway, leaving seven passengers with minor injuries and another with suspected broken ribs.

The Kuala Lumpur-bound StarMart Express bus, which left the Larkin Terminal at about 2.30am, got into the accident along KM32 of the highway northbound, just before the Kulai rest area, at about 3.30am with 14 passengers on board.

It is believed that the bus driver, in his 30s had dozed off before losing control of the vehicle.

Kulaijaya OCPD Supt Zulkefly Yahya said seven passengers, including a woman, aged between 20 and 40 years, received outpatient treatment at Kulai Hospital while a man, in his 40s, was warded as he might have broken his ribs.

"The other remaining passengers were unhurt during the incident.

"The bus's left side was badly damaged," he said when contacted here on Saturday.

Supt Zulkefly said that police had taken the statement from the bus driver

"The bus was supposed to leave the terminal at 12.30am but left two hours later due to some delay.

"We are also investigating whether the bus's engine was damaged," he said.

He added that the bus had been brought to Air Bemban police station for further inspection.

He urged anyone with information to contact the police hotline at 07-2212999 or the nearest police station.

Bills to improve public transport and safety tabled

KUALA LUMPUR (April 12, 2010): THE Land Public Transport Commission (LPTC) Bill 2010 and Land Public Transport Bill 2010 were both tabled for first reading by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz today.

Under the LPTC Bill, the minister may appoint a chairman, chief executive officer, not more than five government representatives and not more than five members who in the opinion of the minister have knowledge and experience and shown capacity and professionalism in land public transport to sit in the commission.

The Bill stipulates that the commission will advise the minister on all matters relating to land public transport in connection with the exercise of its functions under the land public transport laws.

Under the Land Public Transport Bill, the commission may make rules to provide for the safe carriage of passengers, their luggage and goods by land public transport.

Clause 13 of the Bill empowers the minister to prescribe an area congestion pricing charge to be paid by users of roads situated within any designated area.

The appropriate authorities specified under the Road Transport Act 1987 shall be authorised to demand and collect the proceeds of area congestion pricing charge.

After retaining an amounts as prescribed by the minister and being reimbursed its incidental expenses by the authority, the remaining portion of proceeds will be paid to the Land Public Transport Fund.

A person who fails to pay the charge, commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.

Clause 27 of the Bill empowers the commission to revoke or suspend a land public transport operator's licence if the conditions of the licence has not been complied by the operator; if the issuance of licence was induced by a false representation; in the event of death, incapacity, bankruptcy of the operator, liquidation of the company; if the public service vehicle used is intended to be used for an unlawful purpose.

Clause 154 and 162 allows the commission to hold any inquiries and investigations respectively in response to a written request from a person or on its own initiative.

The commission is also required to publish a reports of its findings in respect of any public inquiry it conducts within 60 days from the conclusion of the inquiry.

As for the investigation, the commission shall prepare a report to the minister and it is up to the minister to decided whether the report should be published for national and public interest.

An appeal tribunal shall be established under clause 177 of the bill to review any decision or direction of the commission under the law.

The minister shall appoint a chairman and at least two members to sit in the tribunal.

Clause 247 of the Bill stipulates that a Land Public Transport Fund to be set up by the commission and the fund shall be expended for the improvement of the land public transport, its services in rural developments or other purposes related to the land public transport as determined by the minister.

Public Land Transport Commission will resolve fragmented jurisdiction woes

KUALA LUMPUR: Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat says the Public Land Transport Commission (Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat)will help resolve the problem of fragmented jurisdiction governing matters of land transport.

On his blog, he said on Thursday, April 15 the commission will see a single point of accountability for policy planning and regulatory oversight.

"This is a step towards resolving the problem of fragmented jurisdiction governing matters of land transport that I have frequently highlighted since I assumed the role as Transport Minister," he said.

Before the commission was set up, he noted there were 13 government agencies and departments having authority on issues relating to land transport.

For instance on the issue of commercial buses, the issuance and revocation of licence to operate as well as powers to determine fares are under the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB), which is under the Prime Minister’s Department.

However, licences to operate tour buses is under the Tourism Ministry. The Road Transport Department (RTD) oversees various aspects of safety and enforcement. Ong said then there are the Department of Environment and local authorities as well.

"It was through the National Key Result Area on Urban Public Transport (NKRA UPT) of which I am the lead minister that we were able to bring the fragmented agencies to work together to improve urban public transport. It was also through NKRA UPT that the idea of SPAD was established," he said.

Ong said the commission does not affect the jurisdiction of the RTD, Road Safety Department and other agencies under the Transport Ministry of Transport.

He said, as the lead minister for NKRA UPT, he would continue to maintain oversight on matters pertaining to urban public transport and ensure close collaboration between his ministry and the commission.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bus operators’ attitude on safety to be blamed for accidents

KUALA LUMPUR: Bus operators have been urged to adhere to the guidelines set by the Transport Ministry to ensure that drivers get adequate rest to prevent fatigue while driving.

Peninsular Malaysia Road Transport Officers Union president Hamzah Masri said the lackadaisical attitude of some bus operators on safety measures was to be blamed for fatal accidents.

He said the causes of bus accidents must be studied comprehensively, including on drivers fatigue and poor management.

The Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) must study whether drivers abide by the rules imposed by employing safe driving practices, he said when commenting on an express bus tragedy in Ipoh South recently.

Ten passengers were killed and two injured after a doubledecker Sani Express bus skidded and hit a guard rail at Km272.8 of the NorthSouth Expressway as it was heading north, about 8km from the Ipoh South toll plaza on Dec 26.

"If bus drivers are in good health and drive in a comfortable condition and are not at the wheel continuously for long hours, fatal accidents could be averted," he said.

Hamzah said public transport operators must abide by the rules stipulated in the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 to prevent accidents. - Bernama

Thursday, December 31, 2009

So many laws, so little enforcement

The Star Online

There is sufficient legislation governing the express bus industry which is responsible for the lives of many but lax enforcement remains the problem.

CAN our officials in charge of road safety and politicians please shut up and stop appearing in front of television cameras each time a bus tragedy occurs?

Their oft-repeated views hold little value, especially to the families of innocent passengers killed in accidents caused by rogue drivers or sleepyheads not fit for driving.

In the latest tragedy last Saturday, a double-decker express bus skidded and crash into the divider on the North-South Expressway (NSE) in Ipoh, leaving 10 passengers dead and three injured.

There always a big hue and cry after each tragic episode. A customary probe and an increased enforcement are the usual knee-jerk responses.

But we expect the checks and issuance of summonses to peter out, especially when bus drivers retaliate by not turning up for work.

Operators would plead with the authorities to go easy on enforcement and soon enough, it will be back to the old “close-one-eye” scenario until the next tragic accident.

May I suggest that top officials of the Road Transport Department, the Road Safety Department, and senior traffic police officers take a drive on the 880km NSE at night?

They should be able to experience the scare of driving next to speeding express bus drivers and tour bus drivers, including those from our strict-on-rules southern neighbours.

Passengers and other motorists are subjected to huge risks by these reckless daredevils, who also include texting truck drivers,

My closest shave with one of them came between the Seremban and Malacca stretch around midnight on Dec 23.

An express bus that must have been running at 130kmh, forced me off the fast lane to the middle lane near Rembau area.

While I was still in the lane a short distance down, another express bus and a Singapore-registered tour bus overtook my car on the right AND the left.

At the speed these buses run, it is a miracle that deaths are not daily occurences.

Part of the problem is the poor pay given to drivers in what must surely be a lucrative business that has 187 players and more clamouring to come in.

With a basic salary as low as RM500, drivers have to earn “trip allowances” to take home between RM2,000 and RM3,000 a month. That usually means forgoing sleep or staying awake with the help of drugs.

Their use of psychotropic pills is old hat but the issue remains unresolved.

Two years ago, the Consumers association of Penang (CAP) highlighted the confession of a drug user — an express bus driver who had been plying the Kuala Lumpur-Terengganu route for 10 years.

With the the pill, he said “eyes were awake but the brain is asleep”, adding that most drivers tend to speed because they would otherwise feel sleepy.

His confession came in the wake of the country’s worst express bus tragedy. Twenty passengers died when the bus heading from Johor Baru to Alor Star, skidded and overturned on the expressway near Bukit Gantang, in Perak.

In the 4am accident, the bus crashed through the guardrail, continued its run into a concrete drain and fell into a 6m ravine.

The express bus industry is responsible for the lives of many. There are sufficient laws under the police, Road Transport Department, Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board and the Road Safety Department to governing the industry.

But as always, the problem lies with lax enforcement.

In addition to the laws, we now have the Safety Health and Environment Code of Practice (SHE COP) for the sector.

The SHE code was developed in 2007 after a series of high profile accidents involving commercial vehicles, notably the Bukit Gantang crash.

The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros), has since conducted a commendable study on its effectiveness.

Miros evaluated speeding violations using Global Positioning System (GPS) units installed in selected buses.

According to Miros director-general Prof Dr Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah, the number of bus accidents dropped by as much as 36%.

But SHE is just a code and not compulsory. There are 165 fleet operators out there who have yet to comply with its requirements.

The Cabinet Committee on Road Safety chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, which is scheduled to meet soon, should seriously think about making the code mandatory for all commercial vehicles.

With self-regulation being the focus of the code, express bus firms must bear more responsibilities, with CEOs made accountable for accidents involving their buses.

The onus should be on the companies to initiate the right policies, set up effective organisation and frameworks for planning and implementation, conduct evaluations and take actions for improvement.

But then again, if the code is made compulsory as yet another punitive law, would there be effective enforcement?

> Associate Editor M. Veera Pandiyan likes this quote by Austrian satirist Karl Kraus: What good is speed if the brain has oozed out on the way?