APAD must have more clout over road safety

  • Letters
  • Thursday, 28 Jun 2018

I READ with renewed hope the report about the transformation of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) into the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) to better manage the functions and development policies of the country’s land transport sector.

I hope that with APAD, our traffic would be better managed to reduce the unnecessary traffic jams that cause inconvenience to thousands of people every day.

The jams are mostly caused by irresponsible parking, inconsi­derate drivers who cut queue and practise the law of the jungle on the highways, and badly timed traffic lights at certain areas during peak hours.

Renovation or construction work for particular projects also add to the traffic snarls. The contractors often block off roads to make their jobs easier instead of minimising inconvenience to the public. Furthermore, the roads are left with uneven surfaces due to bad patching after the work is com­pleted. A good example is Jalan Maktab which leads to the Datuk Keramat area in Kuala Lumpur. It is in such a bad state that it should not even be considered a road.

Another concern is the danger of overloaded lorries. I suspect that seven out of 10 lorries we encounter on the highway are overloaded. These lorries are just inviting accidents and most of the time, the victims are other road users. During festive occasions, the movement of lorries should be restricted for about 24 hours so that the rush to balik kampung and back again can proceed smoothly.

And then there are the bus drivers speeding on the highways, risking the lives of their passengers because they want to arrive on time or to cover more trips. More often than not, these drivers are young and lack experience. How did they get their hands on the licence to drive and risk the lives of innocent passengers? The procedures for getting a licence to drive heavy vehicles should be reviewed so that such licences are given only to those who are competent and responsible. Companies that hire irresponsible drivers should also be taken to task.

I also watch with dismay users of government vehicles bearing their respective departmental logos breaking traffic rules for their convenience, perhaps knowing that the enforcement officers would not take action on them. Users of government vehicles should promote good driving habits and be role models for other people on the highways.

I am not against police outriders but they must also have respect for other road users. I don’t think the person in the car is in such a hurry to get anywhere. These outriders actually cause a bigger problem in traffic jams.

My point is, it does not matter whether it is SPAD or APAD, the end result should be a safer and less stressful experience for all road users.


Kuala Lumpur

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