BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — The Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) will launch a pilot project on the use of electric vehicles (EV) in the first quarter of 2021, its minister announced on Monday.

The two-year project will study the legal and technical requirements, pricing and infrastructure for the deployment of electric vehicles, said YB Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib POKSSDP Hj Mohammad Yusof.

During the launch of The Brunei Darussalam Road Safety Strategic Plan 2025, he said EV policies and provision of charging infrastructure is targeted for implementation within five years after the 2021 launch of the EV strategic plan.

The pilot scheme is in line with ‘The Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy’ (BNCCP), which will pave the way towards national resilience in climate change and low carbon emissions, said YB Dato Abdul Mutalib.

Under BNCCP, the government aims to increase the market share of electric vehicles to 60 percent of total annual sales by 2035.

This target is subject to future development of EV and policies in place, such as the price of fuel and electricity, low EV prices and availability of EV charging infrastructure.

The Electric Vehicle Joint Task Force, co-led by MTIC and Ministry of Energy, will carry out the strategic plan.

The EV project is one of the government’s transport initiatives, which include the launch of a real-time accident database in January and a pilot project to test the effectiveness of speed warning devices with global positioning system (GPS) on trucks, commercial and public transport vehicles.

Gov’t to improve driving school curriculum in 2021

The Brunei Darussalam Road Safety Strategic Plan 2025 has set a number of key performance indicators, including zero road accident facilities by 2025.

A total of 11 road fatalities were recorded as of November. Road fatalities have reduced up to 55 percent between 2017 to 2019, with 29 deaths in 2017 compared to 13 fatalities in 2019.

The government also aims to decrease the number road traffic accidents by 50 percent.

In the road safety strategic plan, MTIC is expected to evaluate and improve pedestrian infrastructure and networks to ensure road safety for all.

The strategic plan is the updated version of the Blueprint Decade of Action For Road Safety 2011 – 2020 Brunei Darussalam.

It listed 160 initiatives, of which 48 are targeted to be implemented in the next five years.

Five strategic outcomes were identified in the Brunei Darussalam Road Safety Strategic Plan 2025 — progressive road safety culture for all; progressive road safety for all on the move; high safety standards for all road vehicles; recognised safe road infrastructure, as well as dependable, timely and reliable emergency response.

The progressive road safety for all outcome includes enhancing driving school curriculum and assessment in 2021, as well as introducing compulsory accreditation of driving instructors in 2022.

To ensure high safety standards for all road vehicles, the strategic plan stated that vehicle inspection stations will be issued with standardised vehicle examiners/inspectors guidelines.

Vehicle inspection centers will be audited for compliance of global automobile standards.

One of the programmes to ensure safe road infrastructure is to identify and improve flooding and ponding on roads from 2021 to 2025.

There are also plans to provide cycling and public bus facilities in 2023.