Limited options during MCO for accident victims

Chan (right) and his assistant getting ready to tow a car. — Filepic

SOME workshops with tow trucks are still operating their towing services as usual for emergencies but car repairs will only be done at the end of the movement control order (MCO).

Car workshop owner Chan Kok Hoe said while towing services are still provided, motorists should try their best to avoid accidents.

“Insurance companies and spare part suppliers are not operating now.

“We can only help with the necessary paperwork with the police.

“The damaged vehicles will be towed to the workshop and stored until the MCO is over, ” he said.

Chan, who is a member of the Penang Motor Vehicles Workshop Owners Association, said there are about 150 tow trucks in Penang on standby for operations but they are not roaming the streets during the MCO period.

“Workshops are allowed to operate on a small scale. This means that we will still respond to calls in emergencies.

“However, we can only tow the cars to the workshops. We cannot do repairs for the time being, ” he said.

Chan said that as a safety precaution, his tow truck drivers who are on standby are also not picking up passengers, including drivers of the damaged vehicles.

“My drivers have been told to stay at home and attend to customers in need of towing services only when instructed.

“We want business but our health is more important, ” he said.

Chan said he was surprised that traffic accidents are still happening despite near-empty roads.

He added that his tow trucks still return with an average of three cars daily.

“Before the order was enforced, roads were busy and we towed back between five and six cars daily.

“Now that roads are empty, we still get about three calls a day.”

Chan said most accidents involved motorcycles and cars and were caused by carelessness.

“I believe Penangites are used to congested roads.

“Now that roads are wide and almost traffic-free, some motorists hesitate while some move recklessly.

“We urge motorists to be alert, responsible and considerate on the road, ” he said.

He also advised people to study their vehicle insurance policies and keep their cars in good running order.

“Vehicles which have not been driven for a long period usually have problems with the ignition and batteries.

“We recommend that motorists start their car and keep the engine running for five to 10 minutes daily, even when they are not going out.

“If a vehicle really needs towing, the owner needs to check if the service is covered under the insurance policy, ” added Chan.

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