KUALA LUMPUR: Traffic at all major highways is expected to reach some four million vehicles daily in the coming days following the lifting of the ban on interstate travel.
Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director Comm Datuk Mat Kasim Karim said 3.8 million vehicles were on highways nationwide on Thursday, although traffic remained smooth.
“The Malaysia Highway Authority (LLM) estimates that the number of vehicles on all highways will continue to increase to four million vehicles daily as many are travelling interstate,” he said when contacted.
As a comparison, some 4.5 million vehicles were on the road daily in February and March last year prior to the first movement control order on March 18, he said.
On Thursday, 1,112,215 vehicles were on the North-South Expressway, 112,852 vehicles used the Kuala Lumpur-Karak highway and 41,221 vehicles plied the East Coast highway, said Comm Mat Kassim.
“Traffic at toll plazas also increased on Thursday compared to a week before, which is prior to the lifting of the interstate travel ban.
“At the Jalan Duta toll plaza, traffic increased at least 29% from 43,008 vehicles to 55,333 vehicles, while we saw a 28% increase at the Sungai Besi toll plaza, 37% at the Skudai toll plaza, 38% at the Juru toll plaza, and a 126% increase at the Gombak toll plaza, which is 65,490 vehicles compared to 29,042 a week prior.
“There was also a 69% increase at the Bentong toll plaza and a 40% increase at the Karak toll plaza,” he added.
Comm Mat Kasim added that no unusual traffic congestion had been detected so far.
“Traffic remained smooth and our personnel have been deployed to monitor the situation.
“We are also working with other agencies such as the LLM and highway companies to ensure that travellers abide by the Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP),” he added.
His department will focus on advocacy and enforcement to ensure that motorists abide by all the rules and regulations so that traffic remains smooth for all road users.
PLUS Malaysia Bhd head of strategic stakeholder engagement Syed Mohammed Idid Syed Ahmad said their teams were ready to cater to the increase in vehicles on the road.
“Prior to the pandemic, we used to cater to some 1.7 million vehicles on the road daily, thus we will be able to do so with the lifting of the interstate travel ban,” he said when contacted.
Syed Mohammed Idid advised road users to use the PLUS app or check its Twitter account to get the latest update on traffic conditions.
“In doing so, they can plan their journey better,” he added.
“PLUS rest and services areas (R&R) are also open and ready to meet the demands of travellers.
“Mobile police teams will be deployed at selected R&R... to monitor SOP compliance.”
He advised the public to continue adhering to the SOP such as checking in with the MySejahtera app, wearing faces masks, maintaining physical distancing and using hand sanitisers regularly.
“In this new normal situation, all things need more time, so visitors need to be more patient and not be selfish,” Syed Mohammed Idid said.
He also reminded travellers to ensure that their Touch ‘n Go cards and e-wallets have sufficient balance before starting their journey.