Slowing down can save fuel, says Road Safety Dept

PUTRAJAYA: Following the speed limit may not just save your life. It saves fuel and your money as well, says Road Safety Department director-general Datuk Suret Singh.

"It’s time for drivers who are used to speeding to their destinations to slow down. This may not only save them their lives but fuel because of the price increase.

"As a general guide, travelling at 90kph is the optimum speed. The next time you travel home on the highway at 110kph, try driving at 90kmph. You’ll notice the savings, " he told reporters Friday at his office here.

He was responding to the Government’s announcement of an increase in petrol and diesel prices by 78 sen and RM1 per litre respectively beginning Thursday.

Suret also reminded drivers that despite the six-month advocacy period for rear seat belts, they could still get summoned by the police for failing to buckle up in front.

"The regulation on safety belt has been in force for 35 years so there’s no excuse not to buckle up in front. The advocacy period is only for rear seat belts.

“At present, the rate for Malaysians to buckle up in front is around 77% while around 1% to 4% are putting on their rear safety belts. We aim to push this even higher,” he said.

Suret also said that taxis, rental cars, and private vehicles with more than eight seats would be exempted from the ruling when it came into force on Jan 1 next year.

"The Government intends to apply the ruling to these two categories of cars in stages. It’s also the responsibility of drivers to get their passengers in the backseat to buckle up.

“If the number of back passengers is more than the seat belts, the drivers should ensure that all the belts are used. If they fail, legal action will be taken against the drivers,” he said, adding that the department was also asking the public to contribute anecdotes on how wearing seat belts had saved their lives during accidents.

"The stories will be compiled and posted on our website at http://www.panducermat.org.my, he said.

On another matter, Suret said the number of those injured in road accidents had been reduced from the 55,000 cases to 27,000 in the last three years since the department was set up.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/6/6/nation/20080606142930&sec=nation