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KOTA KINABALU – Leading road safety advocate Petron Malaysia held a series of road safety awareness talks and demonstrations for 1,000 students at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pekan Telipok in Sabah as part of its Road Safety School Outreach program.

This was Petron Malaysia’s first time to bring the program to Sabah as it aims to raise awareness on indentifying blind spots in large vehicles especially among secondary school students.

“Our Road Safety program is one of Petron’s longest-running and most important advocacies since 2013. The program aims to teach safe driving and riding techniques to young, novice road users. We also want them to adopt good road safety behaviour by emphasizing that all road accidents are preventable,” said Petron Corporate Safety, Security, Health and Environment Head, Lokman Hani.

Knowing the significance of properly identifying blind spots in vehicles, Petron Malaysia brought in industry experts and representatives from the Road Safety Department Malaysia (JKJR), BOMBA and IMW Driving Institute Sabah. IMW briefed the students on simple vehicle inspection and important safety features. Meanwhile, BOMBA demonstrated the correct ways to extinguish fire and displayed their fire engines for everyone’s appreciation.

To make students better understand blind spots and lessen the risk of collisions, Petron used its fuel tanker to demonstrate the various danger-zones of long and large vehicles. In the same event, Petron also distributed 50 reflective safety harnesses to the students to remind them to always be attentive of their surroundings.

Road accident is still the leading cause of death among youth especially motorcyclists and pedestrians. According to JKJR in 2018, 705 road accidents involving 16 fatalities occurred in Tuaran, making it the seventh-highest road accident statistics in the state. Kota Kinabalu is amongst the cities with the highest road accident statistics in Sabah with 6,025 out of 18,006 accidents reported last year.

JKJR commented SMK Pekan Telipok was chosen among other schools in Sabah as the school is located in Telipok, a town located between Tuaran and Kota Kinabalu with two heavy traffic main roads connecting between Nothern Zone to South West Coast of Sabah. Parents in Telipok also tend to send their children to school in Kota Kinabalu area which makes the school very busy and therefore, present more risks on the road.

“Road safety plays an important role in shaping the attitudes and behaviours of young people to ensure that they will become responsible road users. It is vital for them to be aware of this early on. The awareness of road obstacles and knowing simple driving guidelines such as using your signals, changing lanes, identifying blind spots, and overtaking large vehicles may pose a challenge on new and inexperienced drivers. But knowing these things will help save their lives and others’ too,” added Lokman.

To date, Petron Road Safety Schools Outreach program has benefitted almost 3,000 students from 25 schools in Negeri Sembilan, Johor Kuantan, and Kedah including Sabah.

The Petron Road Safety Program is aligned with the objectives of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, global advocacy that promotes safe driving through strict observance of traffic laws, use of seatbelts, wearing of the proper helmet for motorcyclists, among others.