Road Safety: Ways to Ease Traffic Flow

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THE Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays are just a week away. Many steps have been taken by the authorities to ensure the safety of road users, especially those travelling by express buses.
Furthermore, new train coaches will be added to cope with the increase in the volume of passengers.

But what about traffic jams on the trunk roads or highways during the festive season? How will this be reduced and overcome?

Every year, traffic jams cause exhaustion, fatigue, tension and anger among road users. There is also the waste of petrol during traffic jams.
Positive measures need to be taken by the authorities or relevant ministries to overcome traffic jams during festive seasons.

Even though PLUS Expressways Bhd had introduced a travelling schedule for road users on the North-South Expressway, it does not appear to have eased the volume of cars on the highway.
I suggest the following measures to reduce traffic jams on the highways and at toll plazas:

- Electronic message boards should be placed at the toll booth, advising motorists about the traffic condition on the highway;

- PLUS officers should be placed at each toll booth to advise motorists on whether to wait or to enter the highway;

- PLUS officers and electronic boards should have first-hand reports on the number of vehicles on the highway;

- A highway radio station is necessary and it has to carry updates on traffic situations to enable drivers, who are already on the highway, to plan their journey.

The radio station should advise drivers on the location of each R&R and petrol station along the highway.

This highway radio should be available the moment motorists enter the highway and the frequency publicised.

Presently, drivers are relying on information from national radio stations and other private radio stations, but such information is not precise.

We need a dedicated highway radio for road users;

- Apart from cash booths, Touch 'n Go booths need to be increased. Having booths that handle both cash and Touch 'n Go will only delay movement. Each booth has to be independent to enable fast flow of vehicles;

- Use of Touch 'n Go has to be increased with good promotion and easy top-ups;

- No roadblocks should be set up by the traffic police on highways as they only cause traffic to move slowly.

The traffic police should instead monitor and ease the traffic flow. A reasonable speed has to be maintained by each motorist.

Convoys of cars must be avoided on highways and that includes any dignitaries or ministers using the highway during the festive season;

- The attitude of each road user is important. No one should intimidate or provoke other road users;

- Heavy vehicles, such as lorries and trailers, must be banned on highways and trunk roads during the festive season;

- Emergency response teams and tow trucks must be on standby;

- All emergency numbers must be made available to road users to enable them to contact emergency personnel while on the highway;

- Emergency lanes are only meant for emergency and no cars should be left unattended for more than an hour on the road, if the car has broken down.

PLUS should ensure vehicles are removed from the emergency lane and towed to the nearest R&R to avoid untoward incidents, especially at night.

I hope this festive season will be a fun and memorable moment for road users and won't turn into a tragedy that they will regret for the rest of their lives.

I still remember the balik kampung song by the late Sudirman Arshad and EON's Hari Raya song Berhati-hati di jalanraya that carries a meaningful message for all road users.

Let's value our lives and our family's and make this festive season a memorable one.

Article by GUNASEGAR THIYAGARAJA, Kuala Lumpur

@ Safety Information...ThinkSafe,WorkSafe

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