Kids without helmets are an accident waiting to happen

Parents ferrying children to school on motorcycles need to understand that helmets can save the lives of their loved ones.

I understand that not everyone can afford a car, but we really need to educate parents who send their kids to school on motorcycles, as many do so without proper protection.

On the mornings that I send my daughter to school, or the afternoons when I pick her up, I see parents ferrying their children – sometimes up to three kids on a bike – and nearly all of them without helmets.

If you cannot afford one, and while technically illegal, at least, get some form of protection for their heads. Accidents can happen anywhere.

Some justify not wearing helmets by saying that the school is just around the corner, or block. But I have seen many parents and their kids on the main roads.

What is worse, these parents swerve in and out of traffic with their kids carrying heavy school bags on their backs. They look so unstable.

One motorcyclist brushed against my side mirror on Wednesday after I dropped my daughter off at school.

We also witnessed a couple of near-misses in the past two months – after school reopened for physical lessons. I dread the day someone fails to brake on time.

The Royal Malaysia Police’s 2017 Road Accident Statistics Report stated that 78 pillion riders, aged below 16, and 92 pillion riders aged between 16 and 20, died in road accidents that year.

There were also 116 cases of pillion riders aged below 16, and 65 – aged between 16 and 20 – sustaining serious injuries.

Road safety expert Prof Dr Kulanthayan K.C. Mani, was quoted as saying that only three per cent of child respondents who took part in a 2005 study he conducted, wore helmets that met the required safety standards.

I wonder what the latest studies and statistics would reveal.

So, parents, please be careful and get proper protection for your children.

On a separate note, my son passed his driving test. That makes us so happy as it means he can now use my sister-in-law’s car, instead of the motorcycle.

Although traffic is light in the ‘kampung’, the home minister and I prefer he takes the car, instead of the motorcycle.

We are going back to Sarawak for Gawai – the first time since 2019 – and we cannot wait to get our son to drive us around!

LOWEST DEATH TALLY THIS YEAR

Twenty lost their fight against Covid-19 in the past week, bringing the total number of fatalities to 35,658.

It was the lowest number of deaths in a single week this year. Hopefully, the number of Covid-19 deaths will be reduced or eliminated in the coming weeks.

New cases also continue to dip, with 13,452 infections reported in the past seven days, taking the total to 4,500,934.

Another 17,277 patients were cured of the coronavirus, making it 4,439,892 people who had beaten the virus.

Worldwide, there are 530,949,308 infections and 6,309,689 deaths.

OBI IS THE ONLY ‘WAN’ KENOBI FOR ME

What an end to the work week! Disney+ dropped the first two episodes of the eagerly-awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi series yesterday.

Kenobi is the latest series to join the Star Wars universe, with several more shows in the pipeline.

As a Star Wars fan, I cannot wait to see them all.

CURTAINS COME DOWN ON EUROPEAN FOOTBALL SEASON

Early tomorrow morning – 3am to be precise – the European football season concludes with the Champions League final.

There are many viewing parties around the Klang Valley, but I have opted to watch my beloved Liverpool go for its seventh European Cup in the comfort of my home.

I have a birthday party to attend in the evening, and I hope it will be a double celebration.

Despite not winning the English Premier League, victories in the League and FA Cups – and potentially in Europe – make this a season to remember.

$IGN OF THE TIME$

With petrol prices so expensive, a friend joked, saying he “saw” a trailer for the next Fast and Furious movie – only instead of souped-up hotrods and supercars, Dom Toretto and gang are on bicycles! That might make the movie watchable.

GOOD SAMARITANS

Speaking of petrol, the home minister had a slight mishap on Thursday when her tanks ran dry on the way back from work.

She was less than 700m away from the petrol station when the car stalled on a busy street.

Luckily, a taxi driver and a motorcyclist helped push the car to the side of the road – next to an LRT station.

I was also home early that day and brought her some petrol.

She said the traffic was worse than usual, and she had underestimated how much petrol she had left.

Thankfully, we only use RON95, as RON97 is now RM4.70 per litre.

PIZZA NOODLE BAKE

With chicken, a scarce commodity these days, here is a beef dish to try, or perhaps you can use lamb, too.

EARLY MORNIN’ RAIN

With a new movie about the King of Rock & Roll due this year, here is a song by Elvis Presley to coincide with the weird weather. Temperatures have reached 40°c, yet it has also been raining heavily on certain days.

Until next week, stay safe.

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