BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Brunei Bridge Authority has revised safety measures on the Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Bridge following an August 8 accident that killed a contract worker

On Thursday, the Minister of Transport and Infocommunications said repair works will no longer be carried out when motorists are using the bridge between 6am to 10pm. 

“Repair works will now only take place after the bridge has closed to the public, after 10pm,” YB Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib POKSSDP Hj Mohammad Yusof told The Scoop after a COVID-19 press conference on Thursday. He said the worker’s death was “unnecessary and avoidable”.

At the press conference, during which the government announced further de-escalation of social distancing measures, the minister said the probe will review the safety measures in place at the time of accident, such as visibility markers for road work areas, as well as the driver’s behaviour.

He implored motorists to drive responsibly and and abide by speed limits on the bridge.

“One of the main causes of road accidents is driving over the speed limit. Road safety is not the sole responsibility of the government. We have worked hard together with NGOs and private sector to try to save lives on the road, but if we are not socially responsible, all the efforts will go to waste.”

He added: “In all the road fatality incidents we’ve seen this year, none of the drivers were wearing seat belts… That is a fact.”

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications YB Dato Abd Mutalib. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

Police are still investigating the road accident which saw the worker struck by an oncoming vehicle in Labu, Temburong, about 1.7km from the Labu roundabout.

The accident occurred when the worker was carrying out repairs to the road surface. He was later rushed to RIPAS Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The identity and nationality of the victim has not been disclosed.

Leaked CCTV footage of the incident also went viral on social media, which prompted the minister to admonish parties who had spread the graphic video online.

“In many cases like this, videos or personal and confidential information have gone viral [on social media]. I urge the public to respect the privacy [of those involved],” he said.

The 26km bridge, which connects the Temburong district with the capital, opened last March.

The government brought ahead the opening date of the bridge to facilitate the movement of goods and people between the two sides of the country amid COVID-19 restrictions.

This article was updated on August 14, 2020 at 12.54pm.