Ops Sikap to ensure roads are safe

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 06 Oct 2005

PUTRAJAYA: The balik kampung fever is around the corner again.  

Even though the festivals are a month away, the Government is already gearing up to ensure that roads are safe during the rush home for Deepavali and Hari Raya. 

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said yesterday Ops Sikap IX would be on from Oct 27 to Nov 10. 

During the period, on-the-spot maximum fines of RM300 will be handed out for five offences.  

The five offences are speeding, queue jumping, beating traffic lights, using emergency lanes and overtaking on a double lane. 

“No appeals will be entertained for these offences. The police and Road Transport Department will also have more joint patrols during this period and watch towers along the North-South Expressway will be manned,” said Chan. 

There will also be a five-day ban on certain heavy vehicles and stricter monitoring of express buses.  

He said the measures, first introduced last year, have curbed road fatalities during the festive period. 

“For instance, before such measures came into effect, there were around 300 deaths during the festive season. But we have managed to bring it down to about 200. 

“People have to remember that there is heavier traffic, triple the usual number of vehicles, during the festive period,” he said. 

Chan was responding to claims that the measures had failed to stem the number of deaths from road accidents during the Chinese New Year period this year. 

Like in the previous year, lorries transporting timber and construction materials such as cement, steel, sand and dirt, as well as cranes and low loaders will be banned from the road from Oct 29 to 31 and on Nov 5 and 6.  

Containers on their way from ports to airports and those transporting electronic goods will be allowed to operate from 6am until midnight on these days. 

Those exempted are lorries carrying gas and chemicals, medical supplies, garbage, food, petroleum and newspapers, as well as those involved in rescue work. 

In Kuala Lumpur, Federal traffic chief Senior Asst Comm II Datuk Gingkoi Seman Pancras said more accidents occur during the Hari Raya rush home compared to other festive periods. 

He this was based on statistics taken from the last eight Ops Sikap. 

“However, tough police enforcement, the visibility of policemen and officers from other agencies along dangerous roads and stretches did bring down the number of accidents during Ops Sikap V in 2003 to 12,165 accidents, 207 fatal accidents and 241 deaths. 

Gingkoi said that based on police observation several factors, including that the fact that most Malaysians travel outstation during the Hari Raya break, could be attributed to the higher number of accidents and fatalities. 

“More people celebrate Hari Raya compared with any other festival, and at least 70% of Malays visit their villages during this festive month,” he said, adding that the other races also took the opportunity to travel during the long holidays.  

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