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September 23, 2019

Left-hand drive vehicles need to be used for road safety: RTAD

Yangon City is demanding more left-hand drive vehicles to ensure road safety. Photo : Phoe Khwar
Yangon City is demanding more left-hand drive vehicles to ensure road safety. Photo : Phoe Khwar

Left-hand drive vehicles need to be used in Myanmar to ensure road safety, said U Lian Cin Mang (also known as Ngam Khai Pa Pa), the Director of the Road Transport Administration Department (RTAD).
There are more than 1 million motor vehicles across the country, and just over 200,000 of them are left-hand drive, which are suitable for the road system in Myanmar, according to the RTAD. “We need to use vehicles which are suitable for the road system, if we really want to reduce the incidence of traffic accidents. The National Road Safety Council has formulated the 2014-2020 National Road Safety Action Plan. In 2013, over 4,000 people were killed in road accidents. We are taking these measures to reduce deaths by half by 2020. So, we need to gradually reduce the number of right-hand drive vehicles, which are not suitable for the road system,” said U Lian Cin Mang. Myanmar made a radical change from driving on the left-hand side of the road to driving on the right on 6 December, 1970.
In addition, the Myanmar Motor Vehicle Law was enacted for road safety. Under the law, Myanmar people are required to use left-hand drive vehicles, which are better suited to the right-hand traffic system.
“Although our country switched to driving on the right-hand side in 1970, Myanmar did not import left-hand drive vehicles, which are suitable for the system. We began paying attention to the issue after the motor vehicle law was enacted in 1951,” said U Lian Cin Mang.
Currently, the government has invited experts, with the assistance of Su foundation, to give suggestions on road safety. They have suggested 43 points, including reducing the number of vehicles which are not suitable for the right-hand traffic system, he said. Therefore, Myanmar is only permitting imports of left-hand drive vehicles beginning from 2019, he added.
Around 164 countries are using the right-hand traffic system, while 76 countries are practicing left-hand traffic system across the world. At present, there are over 1.9 million vehicles registered across the country, and about half of them, or over 540,000, are registered in Yangon.  (Translated by Hay Mar)

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