PETALING JAYA: Works Minister Fadillah Yusof has denied allegations that motorcycle lanes are unsafe.
Speaking to FMT, Fadillah said the Public Works Department (JKR) had not received any complaint about the safety of the lanes, either with regard to the condition of the roads or the exposure of users to muggers because of allegedly poor lighting.
“JKR constantly monitors the condition of the motorcycle lanes to ensure the safety and comfort of motorcyclists,” he said.
According to Fadillah, JKR ensures that the street lights, including the ones inside tunnels, always work properly by implementing “immediate corrective action” should any of them fail.
“JKR also repairs motorcycle lane pavements from time to time, installs speed limit signs and warnings, paints the tunnels, installs transverse bars to ensure motorcyclists slow down, and puts up stickers in the tunnels,” he said. “JKR also conducts road safety audits and implements improvements based on the recommendations of the audits.”
He added that JKR was also aware that tunnels near Sungai Pencala would get submerged in flash floods. Whenever this happened, he said, the highway concessionaire would place warning signs and barricades at strategic locations before the tunnel.
He also said JKR had been in talks with the Irrigation and Drainage Department (JPS), the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) and the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) to address the issue of flash floods more comprehensively. The latest of these talks was held last July 29.
“JKR has requested that JPS provide a cleaning and deepening programme for Sungai Pencala as well install a flap gate in the drainage outlet near Sungai Pencala to prevent back flows from the river to the Federal Highway.
“MBPJ and MBSA have also been requested to ensure that drains at these locations be cleaned besides implementing mapping system drains in their respective areas to identify the cause of flood overflows to the Federal Highway.”
He noted that JKR had proposed, as long term measures, the construction of a motorcycle ramp that would go above the tunnel affected by flash floods, the building of additional pump houses near Sungai Pencala and the upgrading of the drainage system at identified locations.
He conceded that most motorcyclists would rather use the Federal Highway than the motorcycle lanes at night as the lanes would get “lonely” in the late hours.
Meanwhile, Federal Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Director Mahamad Akhir said that the fear of muggers was no excuse for motorcyclists not to use the motorcycle lanes at night.
“It is still better for them to use the motorcycle lanes; if anything does happen, they can file a report with the police,” he told FMT.
He added that the police would conduct operations on motorcycle lanes from time to time.
According to a recent news report, several motorcyclists had confirmed that muggings had occurred in motorcycle lanes at night. Among the people quoted in the report was Azlan Sani Zawawi, who heads the motorcycle group Ikatan Silaturrahim Brotherhood.
Road safety consultant Karen Goonting said she too had heard of such incidents.