BY James Kon
VEHICLE fire cases has seen an increase of 12 from January to May 17 this year as compared to the same period in 2018, according to Fire and Rescue Department statistics.
In a data from emergency calls received on vehicle fire, there are 35 cases in the period with an estimated loss of BND159,800 and in the same period of 2018, there were 23 cases with BND151,800 estimated damages.
Most vehicle fire cases were in Brunei-Muara District with 24 cases while Belait District had seven cases, Tutong District three cases and Temburong District One.
In light of the growing concern of vehicle fire, a press conference was held at the meeting room of the multipurpose hall at Fire and Rescue Department Headquarters recently.
In 2016, there were 68 cases of vehicle fire costing an estimated loss of BND113,393, while in 2017, there were 101 cases with an estimated loss of BND993,650. In 2018, there were 64 cases with the loss estimated at BND349,100.
The causes of fires are electric problem in the engine, faulty electrical system component in the engine, faulty wiring system, faulty Anti-Lock Braking System, faulty fuse box in the engine, mechanical problem, leakage of oil hose or hose line in the component of the vehicle, loose connection, suspicious fire or arson – which has been transferred to the Police, overheating and jamming of brakes.
The usual causes of vehicle fire in the country are manufacturer defect, lack of maintenance of vehicle, human error and negligence.
The National Road Safety Council and Land Transport Department reminded vehicle owners as well as car workshop owners to stop modifications of vehicles’ body, stop modification of electronic wiring system, regular maintenance of engine and car system with correct procedures and according to the suggested schedule.
Car owners are urged to avoid letting the engine run for too long, obtain authorised spare parts and to not leave items like powerbanks that could cause fire unattended.
The Land Transport Department also informed the public that there are 16 workshops with Class A status including two in Belait District. The Class A workshops have been appointed as Vehicle Inspection Station (VIS) to check on private and commercial vehicles that are over seven years.
The list of VIS can be found on www.ltd.gov.bn. Members of public are advised to obtain maintenance services for engine and vehicle from the VIS.
Meanwhile, companies that import and sell vehicles were advised to comply with the road traffic regulations.
The Royal Brunei Police Force reminded the public that starting a vehicle fire is an offence under Section 435, Section 436, Section 437 and Section 438 of Penal Code Chapter 22. Those found guilty, they can face imprisonment of up to 15 years and whipping of not less than six times; life imprisonment; and death penalty depending on charges.
They also urged vehicles to be equipped with a fire extinguisher so that the driver can try to put out the fire without risking one’s own life or contact the Fire and Rescue Department through 995 hotline.
Meanwhile, any illegal modification of car body and wiring system can be reported at Darussalam hotline 123 or through WhatsApp at +6738333123 or the website www.123.gov.bn and attach pictures of the vehicle.
Acting Senior Superintendent of Fire and Rescue and Commanding Officer of Operation ‘F’ Haji Nordin bin Haji Buntan; Acting Head of Research and Investigation Unit of Traffic Control and Investigation Department Chief Inspector Md Baharin Shah bin Haji Abu Bakar; and Senior Enforcement Officer at the Land Transport Department Sheikh Mohd Yusri bin Sheikh Haji Abdul Kadir chaired the press conference.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin