IPOH: The speed limit on the newly opened 57km highway from Simpang Pulai here to Kampung Raja in Cameron Highlands has been fixed at 60kph for the safety of road users.
Perak Infrastructure and Public Utilities Committee chairman Datuk Ho Cheng Wang said the new speed limit would be gazetted in two weeks.
The present speed limit is 90kph but we found that the higher speed is unsafe for motorists.
Eight accidents had occurred in the week between April 28 and May 5 where two people were killed and a young boy paralysed, Ho told reporters yesterday after a working visit to the highway which opened to traffic in February.
He said more than 2,000 cars used the highway daily, and added that the travelling time to the Cameron Highlands was only about one hour compared to three hours using the old road via Tapah.
The highway was constructed for the convenience of motorists as it shortens the travelling time to Cameron Highlands and should not in any way endanger or take the lives of road users, he said.
We do not want such a beautiful road to be marred with a high accident rate.
He added that vehicles with loading above 22 tonnes were not allowed on the highway.
Ho also said vehicles transporting certain toxic chemicals would be barred from the highway to prevent contamination of Sungai Raya, Sungai Kinta and Sungai Terla, the three rivers in the water catchment area.
Ho was earlier briefed on the status of the project by Perak Public Works Department director Datuk I. Dorairajoo.
Dorairajoo said the highway was safe for use but more work had to be carried out to rectify slopes at a 1.2km stretch between the 22.5km and 25.5km points of the highway.
A 600m alternative road has been built 60m away from the risk zone for the safety of motorists. The alternative road would be lighted up throughout the night and be under surveillance, he said.
Dorairajoo said proposals on ways to make the stretch safer were being studied.
He said the highway was designed to be eco-friendly as its alignment followed much of the mountain contours.
The road was not designed for higher speed and 60kph is a safe and ideal speed limit.
We will introduce speed humps and curbs in the event there are many accidents or if motorists do not abide by the speed limit, he said.
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