PETALING JAYA: Tyre fragments and debris falling from heavy vehicles are the main cause of traffic incidents on highways, says PLUS Malaysia.
From January to August this year, 895 traffic incidents occurred because of foreign objects on the highway, of which 30% were attributed to tyre fragments, it said in a statement on Tuesday (Sept 22).
The statement was issued in response to the Consumer Association of Penang's assertion that accidents linked to fallen objects and rubber fragments from rethreaded tyres should not be happening on highways.
According to the highway operator, the police and the Road Transport Department (JPJ) jointly carried out periodic checks on heavy vehicles and transporters to check overloading, improperly secured consignments and use of unsafe rethreaded tyres in an effort to prevent fallen debris and obstacles on highways.
"Last year, a total of 96 Ops Halangan joint operations were conducted with JPJ to address these issues and improve safety on the highway," said PLUS community and public engagement head Syed Mohammed Idid.
The number of incidents related to foreign objects on highways had reduced by 25% compared to the same period last year, he said.
"Compared to 2018 and 2017, the year-on-year reduction has been an average of 24% annually," he said.
Syed Mohammed also said the number of vehicles plying the highways had dropped this year, from an average of 1.7 million a day to 1.5 million, following the movement control order imposed in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
"We welcome feedback from our customers and external parties to provide suggestions to improve our services continuously.
PLUS also refuted CAP's claim in a statement issued on Sept 7 that it typically rejected compensation claims filed by highway users with a standard reply that denied liability for damages.
"PLUS does not simply dismiss any damage claims submitted by customers.
"In 2019, we have processed and offered a total number of 368 damage claims payments to our customers," he said.
Syed Mohammed said PLUS would carry out in-depth investigations into complaints by reviewing PLUSRonda patrolling logs, Global Positioning System records, as well as CCTVs at strategic designated locations.
"All damage claims are accorded equal and fair consideration upon thorough investigations.
"If investigation of a damage claim reveals that we have not adequately carried out our duty of care to a highway customer by providing a safe journey in the way that is within PLUS’ control reasonably, ex-gratia payment would be accorded after comprehensive assessments and investigations," he said.
"It is in line with our motto of taking good care of our customers every step of the way," he said.
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