Overloaded vehicles more prone to accidents
SHAH ALAM - Driving overloaded vehicles could increase the risk of the vehicle losing control and endangering the lives of the driver and passengers.
Road safety consultant Tengku Ahmad Marwan Tengku Mahmud said vehicles would become heavier when it exceeded its capacity and would have an affect on the tyre grip which required longer braking distance.
He said a vehicle's braking system has a maximum weight it could support to ensure it could be controlled safely.
“The situation will be more dangerous at road bends due to low traction force to the left and right side as the excessive weight would be a burden to the tyre to have a better and safe grip.
“For example, a five-passenger capacity vehicle accommodating six passengers will cause the sixth passenger to sit uncomfortably with no seat belts.
“If a collision was to occur, the sixth passenger is at risk of sustaining injuries that are far worse as well as fatality.
“We have to remember that the ones not wearing a seat belt could endanger other passengers including the driver.
"We see in Malaysia that there are countless of overloaded school vans. Imagine if an accident happened, what would happen to them?” he told Sinar Harian on Tuesday.
Tengku Ahmad Marwan who is also a permanent member of the Selangor Road Safety Council. (MKJR) added that basically, the passenger capacity of a vehicle could be seen through the amount of seats and seat belts in a vehicle.
He also stressed the importance of child's car seat in a vehicle.
He said although the law on this has been enforced for years, people still took the matter lightly.
“People must always use the car seat when they bring their children as the seat belts in the car was designed for adults.
“If we look at developed countries, children are not allowed to move freely inside a car because the laws are very strict. So, I recommend the authorities to increase enforcement," he said.
The police also reminded drivers not to take the matter lightly and to not drive with extra passengers as it will add the risk of accidents.
Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department (JSPT) director Datuk Mat Kasim Karim said the police took the matter seriously.
He said road users must be careful and ensure that the number of passengers were within the allowed capacity.
"The risk would be high on vehicles and passengers for various reasons such as the road condition or the weather if the matter is taken lightly.
"We must remember and and follow the clear instructions to not carry excessive load in a vehicle," he said on Wednesday.
He stressed that people should follow the specified vehicle condition and capacity.
On Sunday, six including two children in a Perodua Myvi was reported to have died after being involved in an accident at Kilometer 71 Jalan Batu Pahat-Mersing, Kluang, Johor.