THE authorities should not wait for public complaints on potholes and other dangers, but be proactive in locating and repairing them, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
The Alliance for Safe Community chairman said one way to do this was by appointing mobile teams to check on roads with heavy traffic daily.
“By having these mobile teams, Works Ministry and the local authorities do not have to wait for complaints which take time and effort to process before taking action.
“While identifying the potholes is simple, there is no simple solution to resolving the issue.
“Funds, foresight and foreknowledge are needed to adequately address the issue expeditiously, ” he said, adding that the ministry must adopt a zero-tolerance policy on matters of public safety.
It was reported in The Star that the Works Ministry gave its commitment to repair potholes on federal roads within 24 hours of receiving a complaint.
Under the Zeropothole Campaign, the ministry said the patching of potholes or temporary repairs for federal roads would be conducted within 24 hours, while permanent repairs would be done in three days in accordance with the “Federal Road Maintenance” contract.
The campaign that was introduced from 2016 to 2018 was reintroduced in July as an initiative of the ministry with the Public Works Department (JKR) and six concessionaires for federal road maintenance.
Lee said that while this was a good concept in theory, there must be accountability as well.
“The ministry has clarified that every complaint it receives is resolved promptly and that JKR has fixed almost 64,000 potholes in the first half of last year.
“But perhaps that is not enough as that figure is only a drop in the bucket.
“Motorists have long been subjected to bad road patches, almost on a daily basis, on major and minor roads throughout the country, ” he said.
He added that uneven road surfaces were the cause of unnecessary and expensive repairs to cars, motorcycles and bicycles, as well as a danger to life and limb.
On Sunday, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin hit a pothole and crashed during a cycling trip in Banting, Selangor.
Khairy tweeted a picture of his bruised face with minor scratches, saying that he had a fall after hitting a pothole while cycling around Kampung Seri Cheeding, with the incident prompting Kuala Langat JKR to issue an apology about five hours later.
Frustrated Malaysians took to social media to question if a similar apology would be extended if they were injured.
Others quickly followed suit by posting videos, pictures and memes of potholes and bad roads to highlight the problem.