Traffic light fruit pedlars a safety hazard to all


Pedlars selling cold drinks and cut fruits at a traffic light junction in Bandar Baru Uda, Johor Baru.

ROAD users in Johor Baru are concerned about the rise in pedlars selling items such as pickled fruits at traffic light junctions.

Aside from traffic light junctions with high traffic volume in Bandar Baru Uda, in front of Angsana Mall and Kempas, the sellers have also been sighted in Bandar Dato’ Onn and Kulai.

Personal assistant Tee Lee Chan, 28, said he noticed the increased presence of these pedlars in the Kempas area after the first movement control order was enforced last year.

“I see them every day when I leave for work and when heading home, but I have never bought from them as I am concerned about hygiene because of Covid-19.

“I am also concerned about their safety. Once, a motorist in front of me was buying pickled fruits from a pedlar and it caused traffic to hold up, ” he explained when interviewed in Johor Baru.

Communications executive Kathleen Ann Kili, 30, said she feared for the safety of the vendors as they usually walked very close to the vehicles when the traffic light turned red.

“I am worried that when the light turns green, I may run into them as they dash from vehicle to vehicle, ” she said.

She noted that many pedlars were selling pickled fruits and whole guavas at traffic junctions in Bandar Putra and Kulai town areas too.

“I understand that they are trying to make a living during these tough times but surely there are safer ways, ” she added.

Sundry shop owner Muhammad Azrul Aziz, 30, said he bought a jar of pickled mango from one of the vendors once and was disappointed by the product’s quality and taste.

“The mango slices were too unripe for my liking and it cost me RM10, ” he said, adding that he never bought from them after that.

Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said police had identified 52 locations statewide with such activities.

“Under the law, action can be taken against not only the seller but the buyer as well for causing traffic obstruction.

“They can be fined up to RM2,000 if convicted for selling or buying products at traffic light junctions as they are also putting other road users at risk, ” he said.

Iskandar Puteri City Council mayor Datuk Mohd Haffiz Ahmad told StarMetro the council would look at ways to help the traffic light pedlars.

“Many people’s incomes were affected since Covid-19 hit us, so we will try to find a way to help them as their activities are putting themselves and others in danger, ” he added.

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