KOTA KINABALU: The government has initiated â€˜Program Peronda Lalu Lintas' or pedestrian patrol program to tackle the increasing deaths involving pedestrians.
"More than 70 percent of the pedestrian deaths involved children who are also students" said State Road Safety Department (JKJR) director Josliw Matjumping.
According to him, these may be caused by several factors including students' immature thinking apart from the negligence of parents and school management.
"For example when parents park on the other side of the road, children will have to cross the road without being guided by adults" said Josliw.
Hence, he said, the Ministry of Transport has worked together with the Ministry of Education with help from the State Education Department to identify 16 schools in Sabah with the highest risk of an accident.
He reflected it as an approach using the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) concept which is substantial to hinder accidents involving students from becoming worse.
"We need to support NBOS because it uses minimal allocation to achieve mutual objectives more efficiently" he stressed before launching the first series of â€˜Program Peronda Lalu Lintas' at SM Shan Tao on Monday, 23 October.
Josliw reminded each party to play its own roles as JKJR could only provide guidance on safety programs and that the schools, appointed security companies and security officers themselves are responsible on the implementation. He added that the programme will be improved from time to time with road safety talks and evaluations being carried out continuously.
"We will continuously evaluate these 16 schools on their executions to ensure steady security management" he affirmed.
The programme yesterday which involved classes, talks, dialogues and discussions on road safety were attended by representatives who are teachers and security officers from 16 schools.
Meanwhile, SM Shan Tao principal, Lee Li Leng said students' safety is the most important element of the school.
"We have a serious issue of traffic congestion and today's programme has greatly benefitted our school.
"Apart from (safety) in school, another element is students' safety on the road so that they could arrive safely in school" she said adding that Monday's programme had taught participants on how to help students cross the roads.
She further expressed her hope that the enforcement of Road Transport Department's (JPJ) KEJARA demerit point system would benefit schools.
"We were informed that JPJ would place cameras and monitor certain areas and I hope that it could be done especially in schools" said the principal.