There is no way to sugarcoat this, being on Malaysian roads is a high-risk undertaking and all of us – drivers, riders, pedestrians are responsible for letting this appalling state of affair to materialise.

Over the just concluded 14-day period of Ops Selamat 15 where authorities try to make commuting safer over the busy festive period, a total of 229 souls were lost – that’s 16 individuals who may be known or related to you losing their lives each day in the past two weeks.

Let that sink in for the moment…or do these morbid figures no longer register?

(Image credit: Info Roadblock JPJ/Polis)

The authorities also revealed a staggering number of road accidents over the same period – 22,852 reported cases, and there are more which are unreported. The official statistics also do not include persons who may have been maimed or suffered life-changing injuries.

Beating the traffic lights has become a daily occurrence.

Yes, enforcement can be better but when the objectives of Ops Selamat are just focused on weeding out blatant offenses – driving on the emergency lane, overtaking on double lines, use of mobile phones without handsfree, queue jumping, speeding and beating the traffic lights – rather than cultivating safe-driving practices, the state of lawlessness on our roads is patently obvious.

This isn’t about having better infrastructure or safer cars, as road users, we have a lot of soul searching to do.

(Main image credit to Info Roadblock JPJ/Polis)