KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — A Penang official has suggested the government impose a curfew on alcohol consumption in a bid to curb related accidents.
Penang executive council member Afif Bahardin said the death of a local council officer in a recent incident involving drunk drivers showed the need for a strict policy on alcohol.
The Seberang Jaya assemblyman said imposing a time-restriction on consumption could help reduce the problems linked to alcohol abuse, especially drunk-driving, after he noted that over 1,000 accidents and 618 deaths were attributed to the menace from 2010 to 2015.
“The government must introduce a new policy that limits the time for alcohol consumption so we could reduce road accidents caused by intoxication,” the lawmaker said in a statement released today.
“The government can adopt a similar approach taken by the city of Nelson, New Zealand, that imposes a curfew on alcohol starting from 9pm to 7pm in specific locations.”
The policy should also be accompanied by a heavy penalty on those found violating the curfew, the PKR leader added. This, he argued, would deter anyone from driving intoxicated.
Penang City Council public health assistant Mohaidin Gani Mohamad, 58, was killed in the early hours of Friday morning after his motorcycle was hit by a car near the Jalan Dato Keramat traffic light junction.
The woman driver involved in the incident, now in police custody, was believed to have been drunk.
For the time curfew to succeed, federal-state collaboration is needed, Afif said. All relevant federal and state agencies will have to beef up enforcement if the policy is to be effective, which the PKR lawmaker said he would push for.
“I think it’s time we and the state government put an end to this problem so no more innocent lives are lost in the hands of our recklessness and selfishness,” he said.
More than a million people have been killed in alcohol-related road accidents around the world, with those aged between 15 and 29 forming the bulk of victims, according to a World Economic Forum report.
This problem is most pronounced in developing nations, according to the World Health Organisation, which said in a similar study that up to 69 per cent of drivers involved in fatal road accidents were found to have excess level of alcohol in their system.