Be patient with heavy-vehicle prohibition policy, urges Chong

Chong (second from right) and Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii (right) flag off JPJ vehicles involved in the operation.

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KUCHING, June 8: Heavy vehicle operators and drivers in the state take note: do not ply on public roads on June 13-14 and June 23-24, which are the first two days and last two days of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

State Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the Road Transport Department (JPJ) would be prohibiting them from using these roads in order to make the roads safer during the festive celebration.

Speaking to reporters after launching JPJ’s `Ops Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2018’ at Kuching Sentral this afternoon, Chong revealed that some lorry operators wanted this policy, which will be implemented for the first time in the state, to be reviewed.

“The policy has been implemented and concerns have been raised, so we will review it.

“But for this year, I hope the lorry associations and their members can bear with us. This is all out of good intent to make our roads safer,” said Chong, who is also Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman.

Chong checking out the condition of an express bus at Kuching Sentral, assisted by a JPJ officer.

He said the rationale behind the heavy-vehicle prohibition policy was because there would be heavy traffic flows in and out of the cities two days before and two days after Hari Raya.

“So, to avoid unnecessary jams and reduce the chance of untoward incidents, all these heavy vehicles are prohibited from travelling on the road on those days.

“However, the case may not be the same for Sarawak roads. Here, the inter-city and inter-town travel during this festive season is not as heavy as in the peninsula. That is why we need to review this policy,” said Chong, adding that the review would be done by next year.

Meanwhile, state JPJ director Mohd Syafiq Anas Abdullah said some 150 JPJ officers in 40 enforcement vehicles would be carrying out the operation across the state.

He said JPJ would be assisted by enforcement agencies like the police, the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB), the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK), the Immigration Department and the Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centre (Puspakom).

“During the Ops, enforcements would be focusing on seven main offences: disobeying the traffic lights, overtaking on double lines, using mobile phones while driving, driving on the emergency lane, not wearing seatbelts, driving on the right lane without overtaking, and queue-cutting,” said Mohd Syafiq. — DayakDaily