Buses in Asia don’t need to “plunge” any more. They can just carom into a retaining wall, and still run up a horrific death toll — 14 dead and 16 injured.

The horror crash took place at 4am local time today in Muar, outside Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.

As many as 25 firefighters rushed to the scene of the destruction.

The front has been entirely ripped off and luggage and belongings had been strewn across the side of the road.

It was thought to be on the way to the capital from Johor Baru, a city further south.

According to firefighters, the injured passengers included seven Malaysians, six Singaporeans, two Myanmarese and one whose nationality was not verified.

Police said the 14 dead included six men and eight women, including a young girl.

Initial investigation showed that the road surface was in good condition when the incident happened, firefighters confirmed.

“This pre-Christmas tragedy is so far the most horrific accident in Johor state for 2016,” Mohammad Yusof Mohammad Gunnos, deputy director of the fire department said.

Dude’s got two Mohammad’s in his name, but it sure sounds like his heart is in the right place.

Deadly road accidents are common in Malaysia despite efforts to crack down on poor driving, especially during festive seasons when people return to their hometowns.

via Horror crash: Bus smashes into wall killing 14 in early morning carnage | Daily Star

“Deadly road accidents” were once common in the West, meaning North America and Western Europe, but decades of working on it has made them much less common despite an explosion in miles-driven, driver/pax seat-miles, or any usage metric you care to use.

Poor driving is one thing, but poor driving by a bus driver is fairly rare. In highly corrupt and familial-based societies, like Malaysia, it can be more common, as is cheating on all measures of driver training, etc., but still, the most likely cause will be poor driving by some other driver, with the consequences felt by the unfortunate pax on the bus.

The rule of law can bear the weight of society because the various sticks of the laws, and general compliance with the law, produces a solid foundation. The lesson of “broken window” studies is that when respect for and compliance with the law goes in a small thing, like driver licensing, auto insurance, or illegal immigration, it drives noncompliance with a greater and greater percentage of the whole statute book until your uninsured illegal-immigrant motorists have rationalized rape, robbery and murder, and bribe the cops or judges to avoid consequences. It may amaze Americans, Canadians, Western Europeans, but in much of the world that is the current situation.

From the condition of the bus, the driver is almost certainly beyond mortal consequences at this time — whether or not his action or dereliction was causative here.

This entry was posted in When Guns Are Outlawed… on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

3 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Tour Buses

Haxo Angmark

interesting. During slow times in the dispatch office, I watch Russian car/truck crash videos on U-tube. It’s awesome stuff; no one can crash vehicles like the Russians. Red/green color blindness, truck/bus drivers throwing their vehicles around as if the were Sions, refusal to check mirror before turns, limitless speed – esp in snow, rain, and ice – etc., and the pedestrians are no better, continually launching themselves into streams of fast-moving traffic and then getting splattered. Sickening but fascinating. The road rage stuff is also great; one one occasion, a car slides by a skinny guy crossing the street in a pedestrian zone, so he flips the soda he’s drinking at the car. Car stops. 3 6’4″ spetznatz types get out, one opens the trunk, and the other two pick up Mr. soon-to-be-missing-person by the arms and legs and throw him into the trunk. Trunk is closed, car drives away. Some of the bitch-fights (two gorgeous brunettes squared off kicking and punching at each other for several minutes before a Man intervenes, then they both turned on him) are also vastly entertaining. Statistically, by base population, driving in Russia is roughly 2X more lethal than in America. By miles driven, something like 3X.


I was almost killed as the passenger in a pretty severe prang back in 1986. Intensive care for a while, then about 12 months of suffering and rehab to achieve what my thoracic surgeon called a “miraculous recovery”.

Ever since that day, I’ve been a terribly nervous passenger in any vehicle. If I’m not the guy running the show I’m constantly head-checking six and pressing imaginary brakes.

On New Beers day I’m catching a bus from my hometown to Sydney Airport for some overseas R&R, so this story is particularly ill-timed. Hopefully, Malaysian levels of corruption and piss-poor driving haven’t yet reached Australian shores.

Hognose Post author

Worst of all, everybody in Australia drives on the wrong side of the road, but you get tourists from the right-hand-lane driving world all the time! The Brit and Jap tourists are no worries, but beware the damned Yanks….

Actually, most of my countrymen probably think Australian highways are documented by the Mad Max films.

One thing I always found interesting is that a British car collector can buy an American or German car and drive in on the public roads, it just needs a placard warning followers it’s “LHD.” Australian authorities make the collector change it to RHD, and there are specialty shops who will do just that for an old Corvette or Porsche. Their safety laws admit no exceptions.

Have a safe trip,