Major congestion : The LDP towards Puchong was reduced to a crawl as many motorists made an early start for their hometowns. — SAM THAM / The Star
PETALING JAYA: Traffic slowed to a crawl at several areas along the North-South Expressway and the Karak Highway as city folk began the trip back to their hometowns for the Hari Raya celebrations.
The weekend before the Hari Raya public holidays prompted many urbanites to balik kampung yesterday, causing traffic to come to a crawl at some points from as early as noon.
A Malaysian Highway Authority spokesman said traffic was at a standstill at the Gombak toll, the entry point for the KL-Karak Highway heading towards Pahang.
There was also congestion at the Jabur toll plaza.
“Traffic has been slow-moving from Tapah to Gua Tempurung, and an accident at KM109.5 from Sungai Petani to Bertam caused slow traffic for about 2km,” she said.
According to the PLUS traffic monitoring centre, traffic was at a crawl from Menora Tunnel to Kuala Kangsar, Gopeng to Simpang Pulai, Juru to Sg Dua, Slim River to Sungkai, and both sides of the Penang bridge.
“A stalled lorry at KM138.8 from Juru to Sg Dua obstructed the left lane, causing a 3km crawl.
“Also, a lorry caught fire at KM294.5 from Gopeng to Simpang Pulai, leading to a 5km-long jam,” said a spokesman from the centre.
South-bound traffic woes were mostly from Nilai to Seremban and Sedenak to Pulai Jaya after an accident at KM32.6.
On the Johor causeway, traffic was also busy on all lanes heading into Singapore and on the heavy vehicle lane coming into Malaysia.
Federal traffic police chief Senior Asst Comm Mohd Fuad Abdul Latiff said traffic policemen would be working throughout the Hari Raya exodus to ensure the safety of road users.
“My officers have been deployed to monitor traffic movement along the highways. They are at their assigned locations as we speak.
“We are expecting heavy traffic flow, especially along the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Expressway, Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP) and the East Coast Highway,” he said when contacted yesterday.
SAC Mohd Fuad said police were collaborating with all agencies and PLUS.
“Ops Selamat was launched on July 21 and 5,693 officers will be on duty throughout the entire operation,” he said.
Motorists can get the latest traffic reports on PLUS highways by contacting the toll-free line at 1800-88-0000 or Twitter (www.twitter.com/plustrafik account).