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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Many road deaths due to road bullies, says criminologist

Expert on human behaviour says traffic offenders exhibit certain anti-social traits which drive them to violate the rights of others while ignoring safety risks.
Geshina-Ayu-Mat-Saat-1
PETALING JAYA: Lack of enforcement and the bad attitude of drivers are among the reasons behind road accidents causing thousands of deaths every year, says a criminologist.
The number of fatalities remain high every year despite all the campaigns and road safety operations run by the government, police, the private sector and even international organisations.
Many drivers still believe they have justifiable reasons to speed and break other traffic laws, as a result of which many accidents have occurred.
According to criminologist Geshina Ayu Mat Saat, drivers who have violated the law before and were not caught for their actions, continue breaking the law.
“Many drivers justify their recklessness without due consideration for the rights of other drivers, road safety and pedestrians,” Geshina told FMT.
“These drivers are usually hot-tempered and the situation can escalate from verbal abuse to physical violence particularly when the other party in the conflict is perceived to be less dominant by the aggressive driver,” she said.
Geshina claimed that traffic offenders exhibit certain anti-social traits which drive them to violate the rights of others while ignoring safety risks.“Drivers who commit traffic offences demonstrate certain anti-social behaviour, such as lack of remorse, being reckless, being aggressive and deceitful,” she said.
She added that there was no sole trigger as to why they committed such offences which could cause the loss of innocent lives.
However, according to Geshina, not all of these incidences were due to problematic behaviour among individuals or some other form of mental illness.
“Not all cases are due to mental illness as most people who indulge in road rage and bullying are sane, and do so with a purpose.”
Geshina, who is also a psychologist from USM, said that road rage and road bullying were not accidental behaviours as most were committed with the intent to harm other road users – starting with verbal abuse.
Such perpetrators will never hold themselves accountable for their actions if caught – instead they will put the blame on other people, she added.
It was previously reported that Kuala Lumpur traffic police chief ACP Mohd Nadzri Hussain said that one of the contributing factors to road accidents was the “selfish attitude” of Malaysian drivers.
“What disappoints us is this selfish Malaysian attitude. They do not seem to take into account the safety of other motorists and pedestrians,” Nadzri said.
Aside from the annual Ops Sikap and Ops Selamat road safety operations, a few organisations have also launched road safety campaigns such as the #Slowdown campaign by the United Nations (UN), Street Smart by Petronas, #ShellSelamatSampai and many more.
The UN action is believed to be due to Malaysia ranking third in the 2013 World Health Organisation (WHO) report for the number of road fatalities among emerging countries, after Thailand and South Africa. -FMT

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