A large and obstructive problem

Some of the string pennant flags hanging overhead across the road from an optical shop.Photos by SAIFUL BAHRI

RESIDENTS in Bercham, Ipoh are concerned that advertising material belonging to optical shops in the area are distracting and hazardous to motorists and pedestrians.

A check by MetroPerak found that the concerned optical shops located in Taman Desa Kencana are displaying a multitude of large, protruding advertising banners, including string pennant flags hanging from the shop across the road.

There are advertising blowers placed next to the large posters as well.

A resident, who only wished to be known as Chan, said he was unhappy with the advertising strategies adopted by optical shops.

“Their banners have been increasing in size over the past few months, and what I am most worried about are the children coming to the tuition centres here.

“You can understand that schoolchildren are quite simple-minded when it comes to crossing the road.

“Just because they think there are no cars in sight, they would dash across the road, but they do not realise that their range of sight is blocked by these advertising banners.

“Many a time my own children have almost been knocked down by a car due to this, and I think some parents would also agree with me,” he said.

Chan also said such large advertising banners should not be approved for shoplots.

“Even if it is approved, they should find a better and safer position to place them.

“I am always in the area here, so I am also afraid to complain directly as they might take offence,” he said.

Another resident, who wished to be known as Saw, said he found the banners to be quite distracting for motorists.

“There are so many of them, and it can be quite overwhelming, especially for elderly people and motorcyclists using the road.

“A few times, some of the hanging flags fell onto one of the motorcyclists passing by and this blocked his sight for a while.

“This is quite dangerous and could leave room for accidents to happen if one is not lucky,” he said.

Saw suggested for the Ipoh City Council to standardise the banner sizes and take into consideration the repercussions for allowing huge additional banners to be placed in front of shoplots.

“I can understand that the optical shops may be doing this due to stiff competition.

“But this is also a food paradise and many people visit the area during weekends, so I hope that they can also take this into consideration,” he said.

Meanwhile, a resident who requested to remain anonymous, said he was concerned for people parking in front and behind the large banners.

“The banners are a problem to them because they will have trouble looking out for oncoming cars from both directions when they need to reverse out of the parking bay,” he said.

As for resident Yen How Min, 30, he said the advertising products are taking up parking spaces.

“As it is, there are not many parking lots in the area to accommodate the people coming in.

“And I feel that with their advertising banners coming in the way, it is a waste of space,” he said.

In response to the complaints, a representative from one of the optical shops along the road, V2 Optical Shop, said the size for their advertising banner is legal.

“We have already received the approval from the city council, and we renewed our approval form with them every month for the past six months.

“We made sure that our advertising products displayed are done according to the procedures and bylaws stipulated by the council,” he said.

He also sought the understanding of residents as it is becoming tougher for them to stay in business.

“Advertisement is the main way for us to keep our business afloat,” he said.

As for CK Optical Group, its representative also said they ensured they obtained permits before putting up their advertising banners.

“We have been using advertising banners for the business with the council’s approval since we were established, and we have never received any complaints about it before.

“However, we are also committed to ensuring the safety of the people, so we will be monitoring closely for such hazards from now onwards,” she said, adding that they needed the advertising banners as competition between optical shops was getting stiffer.

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Family & Community , Bercham


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