KOTA KINABALU: Tour operators were yesterday urged to send their coach drivers to undergo lessons in defensive driving to become better drivers in the effort to avoid untoward incidents involving tourists.
Commissioner of Police, Dato’ Haji Hamza Taib, said during a press conference after a meeting involving the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, the Sabah Tourism Board, the police, MATTA Sabah and the Sabah Tourists Guide Association at a leading hotel, drivers operating tour coaches must also be made to understand that their role is to ensure the safety of the tourists.
Hamza also disclosed that the recent accident involving Australian tourists was due to a problem with the brakes of the vehicle.
“Nevertheless, we consider human error to be one of the factors,” he said.
Statistics provided by his department indicated that there were 20 accidents involving tour coaches and 16 accidents involving express tour vehicles last year and since the beginning of this year up until yesterday, four accidents involving tour coaches and five involving express tour vehicles had occurred.
Hamza made an urging for tour operators to ensure their vehicles are maintained in tip-top condition.
“Make sure the buses are well-kept and maintained before use for long haul journeys. One has to understand that Sabah’s roads are curvy and long-winding through the hilly parts,” he said.
He also encouraged operators who could afford to purchase new coaches to ferry tourists around, to do so.
He added that tour coach drivers each has a role in ensuring the tourism industry in Sabah continues to thrive.
“Tourism is one of the State’s main income earner with RM4.977 billion generated last year,” he said.
Meanwhile, MATTA Sabah chairman, K.L. Tan said that most tourists who come to visit Sabah have found the State to be a safe destination.
Source : Borneo Post