PUTRAJAYA: Heavy lorries have been banned from all roads for four days – Sunday and Monday (Nov 23 and 24) and next weekend (Nov 29 and 30) following the government’s move to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities during the Hari Raya holidays.
Exemption is given to lorries carrying food items, gas and petrol but these vehicles would be allowed on the roads only during certain hours, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy announced yesterday.
Speaking to reporters at his ministry yesterday, Chan said the ministry had met representatives of transport associations and those involved in the industry and they had agreed to the decision.
Lorries carrying timber, construction materials like cement, iron, steel, sand, earth, sand mixers, cranes and low loaders would be off the roads from 12.01am on Nov 23 to midnight on Nov 24 and 12.01am on Nov 29 to midnight on Nov 30.
Tankers carrying petrol, diesel, gas and LPG as well as containers travelling from ports and airports would be allowed to operate from 6am to 6pm.
Lorries carrying food items including vegetables would be allowed on the roads between 8pm and 6am. Lorries under 5,000kg, however, would be allowed to operate.
Asked about possible losses to companies, Chan replied: “We are happy the associations did not talk about losses. They talked about loss of human lives which cannot be compensated with dollars and cents.”
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Tuesday directed various government agencies to take measures to reduce road accidents.
On temporary licences for school and factory buses to ferry passengers during the festive season, Chan said that 1,125 permits had been issued to meet the demand.
“The public is advised to buy bus tickets at bus terminals and not from touts. Temporary buses will exhibit permits on their windshields and those that do not carry permits are illegal.
“We urge the public to call 1-800-88-9600 or send a short messaging service message to 39900 if bus drivers are found flouting traffic rules, including speeding and driving dangerously,” he added.
He said that police personnel would be stationed on roads throughout the period and three police helicopters would monitor federal roads and another two would monitor highways.
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