By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Jan 16: A huge roundabout at Mile 15 Kuching-Serian Road is a bad design for a straight highway as it is hazardous and causing accidents.
Padawan District Police Headquarters Traffic Enforcement chief ASP Kenny Charles Juta revealed that some 200 accidents, including one death last week, had occurred at the roundabout since it was completed six months ago.
“On record, there have been 417 accidents with six fatalities along the five-mile stretch from Mile 10 to Mile 15 over the past six months,” he shared during a site visit with Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang today.
Lo wants the federal Public Works Department (JKR Malaysia) to immediately redo and change it with a designated U-turn lane similar to the ones along Siburan.
“There is something wrong with this roundabout because there have been too many accidents in this roundabout since it was completed,” he said, adding that the situation worsen when it rained.
Lo, who is also Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman, thus called on JKR Malaysia to rectify the problem immediately before more accidents happen or more people get killed.
“In the first place, there should not be a roundabout on a straight road that is part of the Pan Borneo Highway,” he opined.
He, however, noted that due to many requests, the roundabout was created to accommodate road users needing to crossover to the other side.
“But this is a wrong way to construct and enable a U-turning. It should be done like the one in Siburan, where a third lane is added on the highway with an opening in the centre divider to allow traffic to make U-turns,” he explained while drafting the design on paper.
“I want JKR Malaysia to redo this roundabout with safe a U-turn lane. I don’t want to see any more accidents here.”
Lo once again told the federal government, which he blamed for the poor highway design, to give back Sarawak its rights and autonomy to enable the state to deal with its own matters.
In the meantime, he called for more signage and warning lights to be installed to inform and caution motorists about the roundabout ahead.
MPP deputy chairman Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim, MPP councillors, JKR Southern Region officers and engineers, contractors and surveyors were among those present. — DayakDaily