The latest road accident near Batu Ampat Toll Plaza of the North-South Expressway yesterday evening, saddens me. I believe many other Malaysians are extremely shocked and appalled with it.
How could a bus ferrying dozens of passengers lost control and flipped over onto the opposite lane, bulldozing oncoming van, cars and another bus? At press time, at least 12 people died and dozens injured, some in serious condition (read Bernama).
Could it be technical or human error? If it was human error, the background of the driver, his history and medical record should be investigate. Should technical errors led to such an incident, the condition of the bus must be investigated, including its last inspection with the Puspakom.
The country has seen many major road accidents over the last few years, mostly involving heavy vehicles like buses, lorries, tankers and trailers. The common error, apart from human, is the tyres in use.
In many countries like Japan, Switzerland, Croatia, United States, Germany and Australia, the use of re-thread tube tyres are totally banned due to its instability and unsafe condition. The impact should such a tyre depletes, is beyond control.
However in Malaysia, it is still in use for its low price. A new medium-class tubeless tyre for a bus could easily costs RM800 each, compared to RM200 of a re-thread. Some new tyres are sold at RM2,000.
It is time for the government to take another look at this matter as in involves road safety. If there is a need to ban such tyres, then we should at least put a control on the price of new tyres for heavy vehicles.
To those involved in the Simpang Ampan accident, do accept my sincere sympathy and condolence.