MIROS – the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety – begins operations on January 3, 2007 and will be the first road safety research institute in Southeast Asia as well as the third in the Asia-Oceania region (after those in Japan and Australia).

The new organization, which has an initial grant of RM50 million, was established as part of the government’s 4-year master plan for road safety. The plan has nine strategies with 52 programmes to reduce the accident rate by more than 50% from the current 4.2 deaths per 10,000 vehicles to two deaths per 10,000 vehicles by 2010.

MIROS will conduct four areas of research – Vehicle Safety, Traffic Engineering and Planning, Human Behaviour and Trauma Management – with each unit of research headed by a director and between five to 10 researchers. It will have simulator, crash-test and other facilities for the research work. Additionally, there will also be focus on post- trauma management such as Trauma Care Research, Injury Epidemiology, Medical Fitness, First Response and Post Injury Rehabilitation.

MIROS’ performance would be guided by 15 key performance indicators and the research it does would benefit not only government agencies but also the private sector such as vehicle manufacturers in terms of designing safer cars.

Prof Dr Radin Umar Radin Sohadi, its director-general. said MIROS would eventually be able to export its expertise as the institute would have the advantage of conducting research that is more suitable to the environment in this region.

"Other research institutes focus heavily on cars, heavy vehicles and driver behaviour which are more associated with the developed countries. Here, in Malaysia, we have quite a large number of motorcyclists and any research on this aspect is more appealing to the countries in this region which have many motorcyclists as well," he said.

MIROS will operate from temporary premises at the Ministry of Transport in Putrajaya and later move to a permanent location at Universiti Putra Malaysia in Serdang, Selangor, once the facilities are constructed. sit to Sweden in September last year.

Road Safety Department Director-General Datuk Suret Singh said MIROS will be linked to other top research institutes on road safety. These top institutes have agreed to cooperate and collaborate with MIROS and provide access to their research data.

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