GEORGE TOWN: A bulk of the more than 10,000 accidents on highways in the country each year are caused by retread tyres, statistics show.
Works Minister Baru Bian said on average some 30 mishaps occur daily.
“There are two contributing factors for accidents on highways which I am concerned about – overloaded lorries and the use of retread tyres.
“To have these many accidents because of retread tyres is serious. There are safety issues that arise from the use of these tyres,” he said during a visit to the Malaysian Highway Authority’s northern region office here yesterday.
Baru also said overloaded vehicles should not be on the road at all.
“I hope this is looked into and we can see how enforcement can be taken seriously,” he said. “Even on the two bridges here in Penang I am very concerned about the lorries that use them,” Baru said.
In an immediate response, Association of Malaysian Hauliers president Datuk Nazari Akhbar challenged the minister to justify his claims involving the use of retread tyres.
“There are other factors as well such as road conditions, like the Westport highway where accidents happen almost every other day due to the road conditions which we have highlighted over the years.
“Alternatively, the government should make a ruling that only retread tyres with Sirim approval can be used on the road,” he said.
Meanwhile, Baru said the federal government would consider using the Malaysian Road Records Information System (Marris) funds for the maintenance of federal roads in all the states due to budget limitations.
The Marris fund is given to state governments to maintain state roads.
“We will start talking to state governments on the possibility of including federal and remote roads under the state’s road maintenance funds.
“I am sure there are ways where we can cooperate with state governments, given the challenging economy.
“Finding maintenance funds for federal roads has been a problem and we hope to resolve it this way,” he said.
Asked whether the federal government would provide more funds to maintain Penang’s state roads, Baru said for now finances were limited.
And on the Penang High Court restoration work, the minister said it would soon undergo a massive project costing about RM17mil.