Thursday, September 21, 2017

Nay Pyi Taw bus operators told to buckle up

Bus line operators in Nay Pyi Taw are being encouraged to have their passengers use seatbelts ahead of a crackdown on motor vehicle safety protocols slated to begin January 1.

In a bid to improve public safety on the highways, the Nay Pyi Taw Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles held a demonstration on December 9 at Bawgathiri bus station.

“All the conductors and those in charge of bus stations attended – more than 150 people,” said U Win Swe, chair of the Nay Pyi Taw Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles.

If passengers do not use seatbelts, bus lines can be fined K30,000 for each individual infraction.

“The responsible people from the bus lines are concentrated on [this issue].” The amount of the fine is K30,000 but we do not know what will happen later,” U Win Swe said.

Motor Vehicle Supervisory Committee member U Myo Nyunt Oo said assistant drivers and conductors may also have to urge passengers to buckle up.

“It is difficult to start when they are not used to doing it. Therefore, the conductors of the highway express will have to urge the passengers to follow the instructions,” he said.

Whether the passengers have fastened their seatbelts or not will be checked at toll gates on the highway, he added.

The awareness event was led by officials from Nay Pyi Taw’s Road Transport Administrative Department, Myanmar traffic police, the fire services department and Ma Hta Tha (highway).

The seatbelt campaign is part of the effort to stem ever-mounting road death numbers. Earlier this year, the National Road Safety Council was established with the goal of halving last year’s figure of 3731 traffic fatalities by 2020.

So far, only an uptick in fatalities has been reported with an average of 43.85 accidents and 12.75 road deaths per day so far this year.

The government began implementing the seatbelt education program on November 1, with action to be taken against those in breach of the code from January 1.

Translation by Khine Thazin Han and San Layy