Wednesday, 12 January 2011

No RCI for the bus accidents in 2010 which claimed many lives but Independent Panel formed to probe the bus crash at Cameron Highlands

In my post on 6 January 2011, I called for an RCI to to investigate the bus crashes in 2010 that caused the loss of 52 lives. Well I guess my call for this particular RCI would be as successful as MB PKR Khalid Ibrahim getting more than 2/3rd ADUN votes for his "still secret amendment to the constitution" on 24 January 2011.

Anyway for the record this is a report from the NST today 12 January 2011:

Radin to head Perak bus crash probe

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has appointed Datuk Radin Umar Radin Sohadi, one of the country's top road safety engineering experts, as chairman of an independent panel to probe a Perak tour bus crash last month in which 28 people were killed and nine injured.

Radin Umar, who had been appointed vice-chancellor of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) on Jan 1, had been involved in investigations into several road accidents when he was the director-general of the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (MIROS).

A Transport Ministry statement said Radin Umar holds a doctorate in traffic safety engineering and a Master of Engineering degree in Transportation and Traffic Engineering.

It said the Cabinet had decided that the other members of the panel would be drawn from the Malaysia Institute of Transport, Institute of Engineering Malaysia, Road Engineering Association of Malaysia (REAM) and Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) as well as consultant mechanical engineer Datuk Foong Choy Chye.
The statement said the terms of reference of the panel were to identify the causes of accidents, collect evidence from the survivors, witnesses and rescuers, consider the bus company's compliance to permit conditions and passenger safety.

It would also propose legal activities or actions in terms of the permits of the relevant authorities, identify issues and challenges faced by commercial vehicle and public transport operators to improve services, identify weaknesses in commercial vehicle and public transport operations in terms of policy and the process of issuing permits, Puspakom inspections and so on.

"In undertaking the investigation, the independent panel will call witnesses and experts to testify in connection with the accident," the statement said.
In the accident at Km15 of Jalan Cameron Highlands-Simpang Pulai on Dec 20, the high-deck bus crashed onto the divider and overturned as it was coming down from Cameron Highlands and heading towards Kuala Lumpur.

Twenty-eight passengers, 26 of them Thai tourists, were killed and nine other Thai tourists were injured in the worst accident in the nation's history.
Radin Umar told Bernama the panel would look into various factors that contributed to the accident and how such a situation could be avoided, as well as consider preventive measures.

"We are not going to point fingers or find out who should be blamed, but look at how to overcome or avoid such accidents from recurring in the future by looking at the entire situation," he said.

Radin Umar said that while he had some idea of how the crash happened, he would rather wait for the full inquiry to be completed.

"I have some information and intelligence on how the crash happened based on my experience when I was in charge of the Bukit Gantang bus accident (investigation)," he said.

Radin Umar was instrumental in the formation of MIROS in 1997 and became its first director-general until May 1998 before being appointed as the director-general of higher education.

He has headed 14 research projects and produced over 100 journal publications of high impact, apart from receiving 22 awards and recognition both locally and overseas.

He also received the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award from the UK in 2005 for his contributions and innovations in the advancement of road safety. -- BERNAMA

Read more: Radin to head Perak bus crash probe.

I guess this will do for now. Sigh.

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