Malaysia's Transport Ministry has just announced that it will make mandatory for new cars to have Electronic Stability Control (ESC) starting June 1, 2018. With the announcement, Malaysia will be the first country in the ASEAN region to mandate ESC.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai spoke before the Stop the Crash Event at the Sepang International Circuit Tuesday afternoon. He said studies show that the ESC system can reduce deaths by 40 percent and reduce the risk of collisions. He also said that the government is considering an eCall system in January 2019 that will immediately notify emergency services whenever an accident takes place, according to Malay Mail.
Malaysia has been ranked as among the top 25 most dangerous countries for road users, according to research conducted by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. The country has 30 fatalities per 100,000 individuals. A World Health Organization (WHO) data on 193 countries in a 2014 research lists Malaysia as 17th most dangerous for drivers.
The only other Southeast Asian country within the top 25 list is Thailand, who came in as second most dangerous for drivers, with 44 fatalities per 100,000 people. In contrast, the USA has 14; France has seven, Germany and Singapore six, and the United Kingdom with only five fatalities per 100,000 people. The African country of Namibia is top on the list with 45, and the island nation of Maldives is the safest with two per 100,000 people, as reported by The Star.
The ESC helps drivers maintain control in extreme steering conditions and prevent the vehicle from skidding, leading to a potentially fatal crash. Malaysia hopes to curb the number of fatal accidents that has plagued the country even with safety systems in place. Transport Minister Liow said that car manufacturers would be made to absorb the cost of installing the system on the vehicles and that there would be no sudden increase of car prices in the country.