AGAIN and again, heavy vehicles have been knocking down both the 2.8m height restriction crossbars at the Vale of Tempe road in Penang to the point that the crossbars themselves became dangling road hazards.
Despite six security cameras recording them live every time they do it, the drivers of the heavy vehicles seem to not fear enforcement action.
Other users of the road have frequently photographed and even taken videos of the lorry drivers using the road and sharing them on Facebook. But all the sharing has been in vain.
The crossbars at both ends of Tanjung Bungah and Fettes Park have since been removed.
Without them barring their way any longer, heavy vehicles go past unhindered.
The latest photo shared on Facebook showed a 14-wheeler, at least 16m-long and carrying large, canvas-covered piles, slowly negotiating its way towards Tanjung Bungah.
The Fire and Rescue Department required the crossbars to be removable in case fire engines had to use the road, said Penang Island City councillor Chris Lee in a recent press conference
“We wanted a permanent height restriction barricade but the department did not recommend it.”
He said the council had installed the security cameras which sent a constant live feed to the council’s enforcement office.
“I have lost count of how many times we caught large vehicles knocking down the crossbars on video.”
Lee said the road was under the jurisdiction of the Public Works Department (PWD), which would soon take legal action against the heavy vehicle owners.
“We’ve recorded every one of them knocking down the two barriers.
“PWD is consulting its head- quarter’s legal department to decide which laws to take action under using the video evidence,” he said.
According to Google Earth Pro’s path measuring tool, vehicles from Tanjung Bungah must travel nearly 6km to reach Jalan Bagan Jermal through Jalan Tanjung Tokong.
If the heavy vehicles go through the Vale of Tempe road and Jalan Mount Erskine, the route is only around 3km.
Many large vehicles going to and from Tanjung Bungah’s hillside are known to prefer this shortcut to escape the heavy traffic and numerous traffic lights along Jalan Tanjung Tokong.
A large part of the Vale of Tempe road literally ripped open and collapsed last October after frequent thunderstorms weakened the foundation.
Authorities said vehicles heavier than the five-tonne restriction that use the road had weakened it further.
It cost the state government RM435,000 and nearly three months to repair the Vale of Tempe road.