Foreign objects a highway hazard

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

PETALING JAYA: Tyre fragments and debris falling from heavy vehicles are the main cause of traffic incidences on highways, according to PLUS Malaysia Bhd.

From January to August, 895 traffic incidences occurred because of foreign objects on the highways, of which 30% of the cases were attributed to tyre fragments.

The police and the Road Transport Department (JPJ) have jointly carried out periodic spot checks on heavy vehicles and transporters to check overloading, improperly secured consignments and the use of unsafe rethreaded tyres.

“Last year, 96 Ops Halangan joint operations were conducted with JPJ to address these issues and improve safety on the highways, ” said PLUS’ corporate, community and public engagement head Syed Mohammed Idid.

PLUS issued the statement in response to the Consumers Association of Penang’s (CAP) view that accidents linked to fallen objects and chunks of rubber from burst rethreaded tyres should not be happening on highways.

Syed Mohammed noted that the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) recently released statistics showing more than 80% of traffic accidents were caused by human error and negligence.

The number of incidents related to foreign objects on highways had reduced by 25% compared to the same period last year, said Syed Mohammed.

“Compared to 2018 and 2017, the year-on-year reduction has been on an average of 24% annually, ” he said.

He also noted that 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 by the government in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In view of the high volume of traffic, PLUS had implemented its 3Es integrated and innovative road safety and traffic management system encompassing “enforcement, engineering and education”.

“We welcome feedback from our customers and external parties to provide suggestions to continuously improve our services.

“We will never rest on our laurels despite gaining global recognition, including the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award and Miros’ acknowledgement (of us) as the No.1-ranked safest closed toll highways in the country, ” he said.

PLUS is the operator of the North-South Expressway, New Klang Valley Expressway, Seremban-Port Dickson Highway, North-South Expressway Central Link, Malaysia-Singapore Second Link, Butterworth-Kulim Expressway and Penang Bridge.

PLUS previously refuted CAP’s claim in a statement issued on Sept 7 that it had rejected compensation claims filed by road users with a standard reply denying liability for damages.

“PLUS does not simply dismiss any damage claims submitted by customers.

“Last year, we processed and offered a total of 368 claims of damages payments to our customers, ” he said.

Syed Mohammed said PLUS carried out in-depth investigations into complaints by reviewing PLUSRonda patrolling logs, Global Positioning System records, as well as CCTV footage at strategic designated locations.

“PLUS takes safety and the rights of our customers seriously.

“All claims of damages are accorded equal and fair consideration, upon thorough investigation.

“If investigation of a claim of damages revealed that we had 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 added.

PLUS expressed gratitude to CAP for speaking out in the interest of consumers and highway customers.

“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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