EVERY day Sheila Shan says a prayer before taking her 11-year-old son to school.
Even though the school is only a five-minute walk from where she lives, the journey is stressful and treacherous.
On numerous occasions, she has almost been hit by a speeding car or motorcycle.
Sheila lives in a nearby condo in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, and uses the traffic light junction at Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad to cross the road and drop her son off at SJKT Vivekananda.
“I have almost been hit so many times that I have lost count.
“This happens even when the light is red, indicating the vehicles must stop.
“They (motorists and motorcyclists) don’t care for our safety.
“I have to be constantly on the alert as they are travelling at high speed.
“That is why I have to take my son to school every day,’’ she added.
What irks her even more is that Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad is a road with a gazetted speed limit of 30kmph.
It is located in the heart of residences, schools and places of worship and is heavily used at all hours of the day.
A grandmother who wanted to be known only as Devi, takes her granddaughters, aged five and six, to the same school.
She said that every day she literally diced with danger at the same junction.
“In one week there are near misses at least three to four times.
“Things are only okay when there is a traffic policeman on duty,’’ she added.
“Sometimes those who almost hit me will apologise but that does not make their behaviour okay,” said Devi, who fears for her grandchildren’s safety.
Malar K, who works at the nearby Nu Sentral shopping centre thesaid motorists do not follow the traffic lights.
“The light turns green for pedestrians for only five seconds, yet they don’t adhere to it and put us at risk.’’
Sheila said most motorists did not obey the traffic rules, including the 30kmph speed limit.
“There was a time a car came so fast as I was crossing.
“I stood my ground, yet he had the gall to threaten me,’’ she recounted.
Lecturer John Manikam said roadside hawkers operating along the pedestrian walkway in front of Palm Court condo were endangering pedestrians.
“Cars are stopping at the traffic light junction to buy food and drinks, contributing to the congestion and endangering schoolchildren.
“Why does Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) allow hawkers to sell at a traffic light junction?
“What is the point of installing a signalised traffic light and CCTV when you allow hawkers to trade here?’’ he asked.
SJKT Vivekananda Parent-Teacher Association (PIBG) chairman Tamilhselvan Kuppon said parents contributed to the congestion when they double parked to drop off and pick up their kids.
“Sometimes they have to go in circles to find a parking spot and this contributes to the congestion.
“We need a solution from DBKL as there have been minor accidents and near misses,’’ he said.
StarMetro observed the traffic situation during a weekday and saw motorists flouting traffic rules along a stretch of Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad.
Despite road humps, 30kmph speed limit and Awas signs as well as the traffic light junction, pedestrians were not safe while crossing the road.