Smooth sailing on first day

KUALA LUMPUR: The first day of interstate travel for those “stranded” following the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO) saw traffic flowing smoothly on major expressways leading out of the federal capital.

A spokesperson for the Malaysian Highway Authority said it expected 300,000 vehicles to use its expressways during the interstate movement from yesterday until Sunday.

“There was no congestion reported on major expressways like the PLUS Expressway, East Coast Highway (LPT) 1 and LPT2, as well as the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Expressway (KLK).

“However, we expect traffic volume to increase in the afternoon or after the breaking of fast, ” he said when contacted.

Meanwhile, checks by Bernama found traffic at the northbound Jalan Duta Toll Road, southbound Sungai Besi Toll Plaza and at Gombak Toll Plaza heading towards the east coast smooth until 1pm.

It also found that most motorists started their journey after 10am, which is after the peak hour.

One of the motorists met at the Jalan Duta Toll Plaza, Hayati Roslan, 37, said she was stranded in Kuala Lumpur and was returning to Baling, Kedah.

“I did as advised by the authorities to ensure sufficient balance in my Touch ’n’ Go and filled my fuel tank for the journey, which is expected to take five hours.

“I also brought along some light food for the breaking of fast, ” she added.

As of Wednesday, a total of 143,516 applications for interstate travel through the Gerak Malaysia app have been approved by the police.

Police said about 13,000 vehicles plied the highways yesterday.

PLUS Expressways Bhd corporate, community and public engagement head, Syed Mohammed Idid, said traffic remained sparse the entire day.

“Everything went smoothly, with no untoward incident. No loitering was allowed at all stopover areas.

“We have put tapes a metre apart to remind travellers they should abide by the social distancing requirements, ” he said yesterday.

He also said that all rest areas along PLUS expressways have been disinfected.

Syed Mohammed said heavier traffic was expected today as 46,027 people had applied to travel out of Perak, Johor and Kelantan.

Tomorrow some 35,278 vehicles are expected to travel out of Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Melaka and Pahang.

“The last batch of 47,155 Gerak Malaysia applicants will be travelling out of Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Terengganu on Sunday, ” said Syed Mohammed, who added that measures are in place to ensure the comfort and safety of travellers.

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