Menora tunnel continues to haunt users

The Menora Tunnel of the Plus highway.

The Menora Tunnel of the Plus highway.

IPOH: There seems to be no end to accidents near the Menora tunnel, which has gained a reputation for being a deadly stretch.

On Sunday, an out-of-control bus rammed into 10 vehicles on the southbound lane at KM265.8 of the North-South Expressway (NSE).

On May 15, a car carrying five people heading towards Kuala Kangsar crashed into a divider at the 257km mark of the NSE. Two women died.

On March 4, a family of four were burnt to death when their car crushed under a trailer lorry which had burst into flames after crashing into a divider.

The bodies of Rosmani Abd Ghani, 65, her son Azhar Abdul Rahim, 43, and grandchildren, Muhammad Aizat Azhar, 18 and Muhammad Daniel Azhar, 13, were only found 34 hours after the accident when Projek Penyelenggaraan Lebuhraya Bhd and Fire and Rescue Department personnel began removing the wreckage of the trailer.

Perak traffic chief Supt Wan Jamil Wan Chik said one way to reduce such accidents was to fix the Automated Enforcement System (AES) along the area.

“If AES is fixed there, drivers will go slow and follow the speed limit,” he said yesterday.

He also suggested more speed breakers be placed on the stretch, saying that there were quite a few on the hilly stretch but not many when the stretch goes downhill.

Based on the statistics given by the Perak Police Traffic, from Jan 1 till July 11 this year, six deaths have occurred on that stretch, northbound and southbound.

The number of vehicles damaged because of accidents on that stretch stands at 379.

On the latest incident, Supt Wan Jamil said the bus driver had nine outstanding traffic summonses issued between 2011 and last year, while the bus was issued with a total of 63 traffic summonses.

PLUS Malaysia Bhd, the operator of NSE, said it had taken safety measures to reduce accidents near the Menora tunnel, inclu­ding installing rumble strips to alert road users to slow down when driving downhill and putting up a sufficient number of road signs.