Monday, 13 August 2012

Focus on safety for Raya

PETALING JAYA: With Hari Raya less than a week away, road and highway authorities are focusing on the key aspect of selamat (safety) for the balik kampung exodus.

With the country suffering losses of over RM10bil each year with about 7,000 deaths from accidents, mostly involving those in the productive age group of between 15 and 30 and during festive season, the emphasis is more on safety and prevention in addition to enforcement.

State Road Transport Department (JPJ) offices have begun checks on express buses and additional buses at depots on the condition of tyres, brakes and other crucial parts.

During the enforcement period which began yesterday and will last until Aug 26 checks will be carried out on express buses and drivers at 32 main terminals.

The brakes and tyres of express buses scheduled to go for more than 300km or be on the road for more than four hours will also be subject to inspection.

“There will also be officers in plainclothes posing as bus passengers to monitor offences and behaviour that can cause accidents on the road,”

“Drivers caught committing any offence under the Road Transportation Act will be issued summonses immediately after the bus arrives at its destination,” said a JPJ spokesperson.

The plainclothes officers would take pictures of drivers committing offences like beating red lights, crossing double lines and using mobile phones while driving.

JPJ would also place officers along accident-prone “black spots” as well as set up blinker warning lights as decoys to discourage drivers from breaking traffic laws.

“We will also conduct random checks on vehicles at the black spots and scrutinise driver's log books to ensure that they do not drive beyond eight hours in a 24-hour period,” the spokesman added.

With JPJ working closely with the police on the Ops Selamat campaign, the successor of Ops Sikap, more than 6,000 personnel from the police, civil defence and other agencies would also be stationed at 150 accident-prone areas.

PLUS Malaysia Berhad will issue its Travel Time Advisory (TTA) on Aug 13 to help motorists plan their journey and increase the number of staff at toll plazas, rest areas and lay-bys.

Malaysian Highway Authority's deputy director (Business) Rahim Goon said more staff members would also be on duty at toll plazas, rest areas as well as in accident and congestion-prone stretches to cope with traffic jams or emergencies.

Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Mohamad Ashfar Ali said bus companies had already conducted their own additional inspections on parts like tyres in addition to routine vehicle checks.

“Operators will also brief bus drivers and give them pep talks to remind them that they are responsible for the safety of passengers,” he said.

St John Ambulance Malaysia commander-in-chief Datuk Dr Low Bin Tick said 50 ambulances would be on standby at selected toll plazas and police stations during the festive season.

Source : TheStar


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