GEORGE TOWN: Some three million vehicles are expected to be in and out of Penang during Ops Selamat 20, which will be from April 20-27 in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
State police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said motorists are advised to be careful while on the road during this festive season.
He said the eight-day operation is aimed at reducing road accidents, especially fatal ones, to focus on traffic enforcement and service to the public and to ensure the safety of homes left vacant during the festive period.
“The operation will be assisted by the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Department, Road Transport Department, local authorities and Environment Department.”
He said 2.2 million vehicles were recorded going in and out of Penang last week and the number is expected to hit three million during the operation period.
Comm Mohd Shuhaily also said 292 officers and personnel from the Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department will be deployed during Ops Selamat 20.
Police have identified several accident-prone roads including Jalan Teluk Ayer Tawar-Jalan Bagan Luar in north Seberang Prai, Jalan Perusahaan Prai-Jalan Kulim in central Seberang Prai, Jalan Besar Simpang Empat (KM12-KM32) in south Seberang Prai, Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway and Jalan Ayer Itam in the northeast district, and Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah and Jalan Tun Dr Awang in the southwest district.
Comm Mohd Shuhaily said police have also identified six major offences committed by drivers, including using mobile phones while driving, cutting queues, abusing the emergency lane, jumping red lights, speeding and cutting queues at the double-line.
He advised motorists to be courteous and to follow all traffic rules to prevent accidents.
He also said those leaving their homes during the holidays should lock up their houses properly and inform the police.
Penang is expected to receive last-minute holidaymakers this weekend following the announcement of an extra public holiday.
Malaysian Association of Hotels national vice-president Datuk Khoo Boo Lim said with school being out for the festive break, the additional public holiday announcement coupled with free tolls is expected to bring in the crowds.
“I am sure Penang will be dealing with heavy traffic this weekend,” he said.
A spokesman from PLUS said it is working with the police and Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) to increase the capacity of the existing lanes as well as to ease the dispersion of traffic during the festive season.
The additional public holiday will either be tomorrow or the coming Monday.
If Saturday is declared the first day of Syawal, Friday will be the extra holiday.
If the first day of Syawal falls on Friday, Malaysians will have a public holiday on Monday.
Those travelling during the holiday period will be exempted from paying tolls from April 19-21 and April 24.
LLM expects an increase in traffic volume of up to 2.3 million vehicles daily on the three major expressways, starting April 19 until May 7.
In a statement, it said the expected increase in traffic is on the North-South Expressway (which is operated by PLUS), Kuala Lumpur-Karak Expressway and East Coast Expressway 1.
On April 11, PLUS chief operating officer Datuk Zakaria Ahmad Zabidi had said about two million vehicles would use its highways daily on April 20-21, April 24-25, April 29 to May 1, and from May 4-7.