BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) has blamed risky driving for causing most road accidents in Brunei, with all six road fatalities attributed to speeding and failure to wear seat belts.

Police investigations found that the majority of accidents in 2020 were due to violations such as speeding, using mobile phones while driving, tailgating and not observing rules for exiting intersections.

Speaking during the National Road Safety Council press briefing on Friday, Senior Superintendent of Police Pg Hj Abdul Salam Pg Hj Abdul Ghani said there were fewer road fatalities this year compared to 13 deaths last year, while 17 people were killed in 2018.

The causes of death ranged from serious head and cervical injuries to vascular trauma and open pelvic fractures.

Pg Hj Abdul Salam, who is the acting director of RBPF Traffic Control and Investigation, stressed that wearing seat belts could save lives as it stops passengers from being thrown from the vehicle, preventing a collision with the windshield or other parts of the car.

Citing the latest statistics from January to June this year, he said male drivers outnumber women by 3 to 1 in the rate of road mishaps.

“However, the overall number of drivers should be taken into account as it is very likely that there are more male drivers than female drivers in Brunei,” he added.

As of June, 506 road accidents have been recorded this year — including 18 that involved motorcyclists — compared to a total of 1,196 incidents in 2019.

The majority of road accidents in the first half of 2020 involved drivers aged from 18 to 38. Almost half (48.4 percent) of those were experienced drivers, holding a license for 11 to 15 years.

Local drivers were responsible for 79 percent of reported accidents.

The Land Transport Department also recorded 151 violations in the first six months of the year compared to 190 for the whole of last year.

Director of Land Transport Hj Rozaly Hj Saidon said overloading of vehicles topped the list of offences, accounting for 112 out of 151 violations. 

Seventy-two people were issued compound fines for driving with worn-out tyres and 11 were penalised for failing to wear a seat belt. Another 24 drivers were fined for using their mobile phones while driving.

As of June, Hj Rozaly said his department received 175 phone-in complaints via the Darussalam Hotline compared to 400 complaints last year.

This article was last updated on August 29, 2020 at 11.30pm.